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Abstract

Uncertainty and indeterminacy seem to be the names of the game. Latin American experiences with regional integration and regionalism have been unstable and, according to “Europeanized” common sense, unsuccessful. Yet without a doubt, Latin America is the “other” continent with a long tradition of modern regional integration, dating back to the post-World War II era. As early as 1948, the Central Americans organized a functional cooperation in the realm of higher education, with the creation of the Central American Council for Higher Education (CSUCA). Then in 1951 they formed the Organization of Central American States (ODECA), and in 1958 they went on to sign a multilateral treaty of economic integration. In the rest of the continent, the 1960s witnessed a first wave of agreements, with the Latin American Free Trade Association (ALALC, 1960), the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA, 1965), and later the Andean Pact (GRAN, 1969). In 1973, CARIFTAbecame the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) but elsewhere the 1970s were a decade of crisis and stalemate. A second wave of agreements built up in the 1990s, most notably with the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR, 1991) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, 1994).

Keywords

Free Trade Regional Integration Free Trade Agreement North American Free Trade Agreement Free Trade Area 
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Notes

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© Olivier Dabène 2009

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  • Olivier Dabène

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