My new article with Carsten-Andreas Schulz has been published in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs. It’s entitled “Republican internationalism: the nineteenth-century roots of Latin American contributions to international order.” The abstract is below.
For a long time, Latin America’s nineteenth century was mostly denigrated as an age of rebellions, caudillos, and chaos. That view has gotten a serious reappraisal, as historians have unearthed the importance of coherent political traditions of republicanism and liberalism during the period. But there has been little attention to how those traditions–and republicanism in particular–mattered for international relations. This is relevant because from about 1860 on, there were some profound developments for Latin American insertion into international order, both diplomatically and economically. Many components of what’s now considered a Latin American diplomatic approach emerged–such as the emphasis on non-intervention as in Latin American international legal diplomacy.
What we found is that core elements of Latin America’s diplomatic traditions were rooted in political developments and debates about republicanism. During the nineteenth century, republicanism’s centrality largely eclipsed that of liberalism (at least outside of discussions of trade). Key republican principles, which we identify in Latin American debates as well as the broader school of republican thought, had key corollaries in Latin American diplomatic practices.
The article originated in a workshop at Johns Hopkins University on Latin America and the liberal international order. Carsten and I connected those questions to our proposed research on Latin America’s nineteenth century international engagement–now funded by AHRC. The article is part of a forthcoming special issue in CRIA, edited by Christy Thornton and J. Luis Rodriguez. Many thanks to the workshop participants for their early feedback!
Although Latin America plays a minimal role in debates on the ‘liberal international order’, scholars recognize the region’s influence on international law, norms, and institutions. We contend that these Latin American contributions to international order spring from a tradition of ‘republican internationalism’, rooted in the region’s domestic political traditions and practices. Republican principles such as the separation of power, association, and the rule of law had important corollaries in Latin American international relations, including sovereign equality, confederation and regional cooperation, and international law and arbitration. These republican internationalist ideas shaped Latin America’s diplomatic traditions and its contributions to international order in the nineteenth century and beyond. Attention to republican internationalism and Latin American contributions demonstrates how actors beyond the North Atlantic shaped the origins of international order. This study also advances debates on the sources of the liberal international order by demonstrating the distinctive influence of republican ideas and practices.