New publication: Latin America and the liberal international order

Update: The article is now online. Here is a free link to the full version!

I am thrilled that my article “Latin America and the liberal international order: An agenda for research” has been accepted at International Affairs. In perhaps a major journal record, it was accepted last week and is already scheduled to be published in the November 2018 issue.

m_coverThe article emerged as a response to the January 2018 special issue of the journal, edited by Princeton’s John Ikenberry, on liberal international order. It expanded quite a bit from there, but it is really great to see it published in the journal that inspired it. International Affairs has been a leading outlet for discussion of the liberal international order from a broad range of scholarly perspectives, and with a focus on policy audiences. It’s also just a fantastic journal, and one of my favorites to read. I use articles from International Affairs in my classes frequently because they tend to emphasize clear argument, concise presentation, and strong writing.

I can only hope my own piece does the same! The abstract is below. Please drop me a line if you’d like the submitted draft. The final version will be out soon, but of course I’m glad to get responses and thoughts before then. As the title suggests, this article is Part 1 in what I hope will be an expanding research project.

Abstract: Recent debates about challenges to the Liberal International Order (LIO)
have led IR scholars, both those critical and supportive of the concept, to
examine LIO’s origins and effects. While this work has shed new light on
the evolution of international order, there has been a surprising absence:
Latin America. We explore the theoretical consequences of this empirical
gap for IR’s understanding of LIO. After assessing the literature’s
treatment of Latin American and LIO, we offer a macro-historical sketch of
the region’s role in the order’s critical junctures. LIO has shaped Latin
America, and Latin America has shaped LIO—but not always in the ways
supporters or critics might expect. Despite Latin America’s long liberal
traditions, LIO’s benefits for the region have often been narrow. The
region’s sovereignty and statehood evolved alongside LIO, with
international experiences very different from those of areas colonized
during LIO’s expansion. Latin American engagement shaped the practices
of great powers through international law and organization, cooperation
and resistance. Despite its participation in LIO’s founding moments, Latin
America was often accorded second-class treatment. The experience of
Latin American states over two centuries—independent but often
internationally unequal—offers a rich vein of experiences of the
consequences of partial inclusion or marginalization from LIO. Deeper
study of Latin America’s history with LIO casts light on the ways in which
non-great powers outside the order’s core shaped, and were shaped by,
the elements of the evolving order.

Media: Argentina, peso, IMF


Busy media day, with appearances on DW News (Germany) and Al Jazeera English. Both spots were on Argentina’s mounting currency crisis, with the peso losing half its value this year and suffering a really steep drop last week.

The year-long decline owes to a number of structural constraints, but last week’s near panic was caused in large part by some botched communications that created a lot of uncertainty and enhanced doubts about President Macri’s fiscal management. The government will try to rectify that this week, but losing value against the dollar is much easier than getting it all back. This is a closely watched number in Argentina, with really big political implications. The only “positive” for Macri is that the Kircheristas are themselves caught up in problems with serious corruption alleged and lots of concerning evidence coming to light.

I was looking at government budget plans that had the peso gradually falling to nearly 22 pesos to the dollar — by 2021. It’s now struggling to stay above 40. Those economic plans, like many others, have gone up in smoke.

I haven’t done much in this space for a while, but I will try to add a bit of summary about my time in Chile on the Fulbright from March to June, what I learned last week in Mexico for the Robert A. Pastor North American Research Initiative, and some very brief capsule reviews on some of the books I’ve been reading over the summer.