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Constructing regionalism from sectoral cooperation: a comparative analysis of the emergence, outcomes, and effects of South American health and defence cooperation within UNASUR

Agostinis, Giovanni (2016) Constructing regionalism from sectoral cooperation: a comparative analysis of the emergence, outcomes, and effects of South American health and defence cooperation within UNASUR. Advisor: Closa, Prof. Carlos. Coadvisor: Dabène, Prof. Olivier . pp. 245. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

This research deals with the emergence, outcomes, and effects of regional health and defence cooperation within the institutional framework of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). The following research questions are addressed: (i) Why do South American states engage in institutionalised cooperation in a given policy area? (ii) What institutional forms are chosen by member states to pursue sectoral cooperation, and how does the creation of a regional institutional setting impact sector-based collective action? (iii) What types of outcomes and effects does sector-based cooperation produce? An actor-centred institutionalist framework is applied in order to illuminate the causal mechanism underlying the establishment of regional institutions and the production of cooperation outcomes and regionalisation effects in the two policy sectors. The theory-guided analysis of health and defence cooperation shows that although decision-making formally remains in the hands of member governments, the creation of regional sector-based institutions alters the logics and dynamics of collective action, stimulating the participation of a variety of state, non-state, and non-traditional state actors and facilitating inter-bureaucratic social learning. The research sheds light on the changes in the agency patterns that have occurred within the UNASUR Health and Defence Councils, and interprets their impact on the outcomes of sector-based cooperation. Empirical evidence shows that within the two Sectoral Councils member states have not only achieved cooperation outcomes, but have also pursued policy coordination at the regional and multilateral levels, through which they have been able to broker norms and respond collectively to shared governance challenges. Additionally, the research reveals that sector-based collective action has stimulated significant domestic changes within the UNASUR member states, facilitating a regional convergence towards similar normative and organisational structures in the fields of public health and defence. It is argued that UNASUR has become a strategic regional platform for dealing with shared governance challenges in South America, which embodies a broader evolution of South American regionalism towards a sector-based, multi-purpose, and variable-geometry mode of collective action. By focusing on regional cooperation in two very different policy areas, this research provides insights into how regionalism is evolving and delivering governance outcomes in South America, and illuminates how South American states are constructing regionalism from intergovernmental sectoral cooperation. The hypotheses generated by the analysis of sectorbased cooperation within UNASUR aim to encourage cross-regional comparisons of sectoral cooperation initiatives pursued within regional organisations in different world regions, contributing to the development of the comparative regionalism research agenda.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
PhD Course: Political History
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/196
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2016 10:00
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/196

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