## ABSTRACT

Which factors evoke attempts toward regional integration and inÀuence their rate of success? In the case of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), the most prominent theories in this regard seem to lack explanatory power. Neither the emergence nor the institutional development and outcomes of MERCOSUR are consistent with the assumptions made by intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism. As one scholar puts it, “the sequence of interdependenceintegration-institutions simply did not take place” (Malamud 2003: 59-61), thus limiting the applicability of the major theories. To account for regional integration in this case, a different approach appears to be necessary.