ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the motivations, strategies, and policy orientations of the regional decision makers from the perspective of the regional states themselves. It considers three broad questions: What important environmental factors shape Latin American foreign policies? How is policy formulated? and What orientations have been adopted toward the outside world? A capability analysis of the Latin American states must pay special attention to political geography. Brazil, Argentina, and Chile are the only states in Latin America to have developed significant geopolitical strategic schools of thought, and these concepts have been fundamental motivators in their foreign policies. Quantitative and qualitative aspects of Latin American populations are important sources of foreign policy strengths and weaknesses. Racial and cultural variety in Latin America and complex intermixing have had different social impacts in the various nations. During the early national period, few Latin American states were able to maintain internally stable political systems.