College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

International Studies


autonomy, counter-hegemony, regionalism, regional organizations, Latin America


This thesis intends to show how South American counter-hegemonic regional political organizations bolster, disseminate, and strengthen regional autonomy, especially concerning the historic control of the United States of America (U.S.). I argue that regional organizations are the “engines” of Latin American people’s movements and elites’ search for regional political integration, “imagined unity,” and solidarity as an alternative to “Washington’s NeoPanAmerican agenda.” To date, the literature on regional organizations and sovereignty has not fully considered the influence of South American regional organizations in continentally bolstering autonomy in the sense of transcending the “subordination of Latin American countries vis-à-vis the major powers of the international system, and the region’s limited bargaining power in the international system.” To fill the gaps, I will study the U.S. and Latin American international relations and dynamics of states within South America (including country-specific case studies), U.S. sanctions or support, U.S. policymaking towards Latin America and vice versa, and the involvement of various extra-hemispheric powers such as China and Russia in South America in terms of trade and diplomatic and financial support. The results of my study have underlined the state-led nature of regional integration in Latin America and the importance of great powers outside of the U.S. orbit, such as Russia and China, in keeping Latin America afloat and gradually further from U.S. domination. The purpose of this thesis is to venture some initial hypotheses within this area of study to provide a foundation for future research.