Conference: Latin America in the Liberal International Order

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November 14 and 15, 2019
JHU Homewood Campus, Baltimore 

Research Conference co-convened by the Latin America in a Globalizing World Initiative, Johns Hopkins University and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University

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The rise of Trump, the Brexit vote, and the resurgence of right-wing populism around the world have produced anxieties about the decline of a “Liberal International Order” (LIO), prompting a host of new studies about its origins, nature, and possible futures. Rejections of economic openness, multilateralism, and even democratic norms in Europe and North America, as well as the rise of China’s authoritarian capitalist model and its expansionist policies around the world have led some to question whether the Liberal International Order is in a terminal crisis.

As scholars have sought to study the LIO historically and theoretically, both advocates for and critics of the notion of an LIO have noted the centrality of asymmetries of power—economic, ideological, and military—to the functioning of the order, particularly as it structures North-South relations. But Latin America has largely been left out of debates on the Liberal International Order, despite the fact that diplomats, jurists, political figures and theorists from the region actively participated in the creation of key institutions of the LIO, and continue to grapple with the maintenance of its norms and practices in a changing world. Because the countries of Latin America were, for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, formally sovereign but economically and politically weak, the region could serve as an ideal terrain on which to study the tenets of a Liberal International Order and to examine how hegemonies are constructed, both historically and theoretically—to study how the world comes to be, in practice, ordered and disordered.

The conference will host a public plenary session on Thursday, 11/14, at 5pm in Gilman 132. The plenary session is free and open to the public.

Latin America and the Crises of the Liberal International Order Plenary Discussion