The Union of South American Nations: at the onset of a socio-regional integration

Introduction

The present thesis focuses on the study of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). It aims at evidencing how this process differs from other historical efforts that have been principally driven by imported economic models of integration without accounting for the diverse social and local realities across the region. UNASUR has a clear ambition to reach an integral level of cooperation on multiple levels between its member countries, based on the social dimension of integration and in the local needs of each of the member countries. The research elaborated in this paper explores the new dimension of the proposal of UNASUR in an effort to analyze and understand how the proposed social mechanisms could contribute to long-­term integration and to the reduce major problems in the region —decrease the indicators of 
poverty and inequality—. This goal demands a deep analysis of the subregional and macroregional blocs, followed by the study of theoretical frameworks for understanding the existing theories of regional integration and the role that the social dimension plays within it. 
Finally, this thesis analyzes the sustainability of this process by using a system of analysis of integration that accounts for political, dimensions, historical, institutional factors...

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This program is supported by the JULIEN J. STUDLEY FOUNDATION
and UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE SAN MARTIN

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