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South American Regional Integration in the labyrinths of a Globalized World April 8, 2009

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by David Díaz

The potential of South America’s regional integration is enormous. Yet, it’s a process that stales indefinetely. Such it is the promise of uniting the continent that even back in 1824 the Libertador Simon Bolivar made it its priority. Back then, most of South America shared the fact of being oppressed by the Spanish. Yet, not even Bolivar’s firm fist could prevent the Gran Colombia to implode, and with it, his ambitions of a united continent. Eventually, South America became a fragmented mosaic of different entities, different pieces of a same puzzle.south_america_map3

      The US’ progressive rise to world hegemony has had an impact in South America like none other factor. The United States’ foreign policy towards the continent has shaped in many respects the structure in which countries evolve; from explicit military interventions to tacit neoliberal domination, the US have effectively organized the Americas mosaic in their own interest. “Pan Americanism” as an ideal of collaboration, of mutual respect between The United States and the rest of the nations of the Americas has proven to be an elusive chimera. In spite of the rhetoric, an undeniable hierarchical relationship has linked the United States with the South American continent.

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Economic crisis: Are we in good hands yet? April 1, 2009

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by Diego A. Zamuner

As the whole world is being affected by the consequences of the worst financial crisis since the Great Crash of 1929, with many gloomy scenarios coming from each relevant economic institution in the world every other week, many questions arise. Why can’t economists -and the government they advise- find a solution to this huge mess? g20leaderswashington15nov08Why with many people being aware of the risks taken by financial institutions all over, the system did nothing to change in the first place? With a few hundred years of development of economic thought, so many star economists out there, and quite a few universities claiming to offer the best economic courses in the world, why do world leaders not manage to agree on a solution? (more…)