Our neighbors to the south impact daily on the lives of U.S. citizens, on issues such as energy, narcotics, immigration, trade, and jobs. And these are the countries most likely to partner with Washington on the basis of shared values, culture, and interests. Recognized experts from Latin America, the United States, and Europe suggest in this timely volume that the United States should seize an early opportunity to engage Latin America, recognizing the region's diversity but also its shared concerns and aspirations.
The consolidation of stable democracies and rule of law in Latin America has long been an expressed goal of both parties in Washington, but the backlash from Iraq, the global financial crisis, and other recent experiences may discourage the use of U.S. influence and assistance to nurture democratic governance. The authors emphasize case-by-case, sophisticated, and multilateral approaches to dealing with such hard cases as Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Abraham F. Lowenthal is a professor of international relations at the University of Southern California and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Theodore J. Piccone is a senior fellow and deputy director for Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and an adviser to the Club of Madrid.
Laurence Whitehead is an official fellow in politics at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford and editor of the Oxford Studies in Democratisation series.
Ted Piccone analyzes the transitions of these five democracies as their stars rise on the international stage. While they offer important and mainly positive examples of the compatibility of political liberties, economic growth, and human development, their foreign policies swing between interest-based strategic autonomy and a principled concern for democratic progress and human rights. In a multipolar world, the fate of the liberal international order depends on how they reconcile these tendencies.