Building on a Common Identity for Regional Security in South America: the role of the Unión de Naciones Sudamericanas (UNASUR)

  • Augusto De Guzman University of Pretoria
Keywords: counterbalance, democracy, divergent interests, hemispheric hegemon, political stability, single intergovernmental organization


The emergence of the Union de Naciones Sudamericanas (UNASUR), combining the trade blocs of Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations, effectively turns the continent into a single intergovernmental organization. On this basis, the continent may be able to provide a stronger counterbalance to the hemispheric hegemon to the north and render the Organization of American States (OAS) futile. But, this article argues, the long-term success of this move will largely depend on its ability to effectively subjugate or control historical rivalries and divergent national interests between the member states marked by many differences among them; to build institutional capacity and maintain domestic political stability while solidifying democracy in the region, among a number of factors.