Exploring South-South relations : the case of SADC and Mercosur

White, Lyal (2001-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores inter-regional relations between SADC and Mercosur. The central problem posed at the outset is "Why should relations between SADC and Mercosur be pursued?" In this problem there exists two separate questions, each one dealing with the regions at hand. The first question asks whether Mercosur is a viable partner in the global political economy and if so, "What possible options are made available through a partnership with Mercosur in the future?" The second question focuses on the Southern African region and addresses concerns surrounding SADC as Mercosur's option for a partner in Africa. These problems are analysed in the context of the global political economy from the perspective of regionalisation, considering the increased interest and attention this phenomenon is currently receiving in international relations. This study therefore addresses both bilateral and multilateral implications associated with SADC-Mercosur relations, with the importance of market liberalisation as well as the effects of regional integration on the process of globalisation kept in mind. A descriptive and analytical approach is employed throughout the study. This methodology provides a concise description of both regions. It also allows the study and research to take place on different levels of analysis, looking at the problem from a country-to-country, country-to-region and region-to-region perspective. These levels are extended to include bilateral and multilateral opportunities for the parties involved. In applying this descriptive methodology various characteristics and attributes of each region are looked at, identifying benefits a regional bloc like Mercosur holds in terms of market size and level of regional development. Various other areas are studied, which explores possible future opportunities for both SA DC and Mercosur through improved south-south co-operation. Statistical data is used to further illustrate certain arguments raised and findings made. The study clearly reveals a broad number of benefits available through enhanced SADCMercosur relations. Mercosur holds an immense amount of future potential that would be of great importance in maintaining a sustainable position for developing economies in the future. There are however a number of difficulties too. These emanate primarily from SADC and therefore cast a great deal of doubt on SADC's ability to enter into a partnership with Mercosur. Considering the current situation, a more viable option would be SACU. But this option should be pursued with the intention of bringing the rest of SADC on board in the not too distant future. SADC's shear size and status in Southern Africa is a drawing card in developing south-south co-operation. It would be ideal to develop relations between SADC and Mercosur in a truly inter-regional fashion and possibly even a transatlantic FTA further down the line. This is a vision that should always be on the agenda when pursuing relations with Mercosur.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die inter-streeksverhouding tussen SADC en Mercosur. Vanuit die staanspoor word die vraag, "Waarom behoort verhouding tussen SADC en Mercosur nagestreefte word?" gevra. Die studie spreek binne hierdie verband met twee sub-vrae. Die eerste vraag vra of Mercosur 'n lewensvatbare vennoot in the globale politieke ekonornie is en indien weI, "Watter opsies word vir die toekoms gegenereer deur 'n vennootskap met Mercosur." Die tweede vraag fokus op Suidelike Afrika en spreek kwessies rakende SADC as Mercosur se keuse vir 'n vennoot in Afrika aan. Binne die konteks van die globale politieke ekonomie word bogenoemde probleme vanuit 'n streeksperspektief geanaliseer, gegewe die toenemende aandag wat die regionalisasie verskynsel tans in internasionale betrekkinge geniet. Hierdie studie spreek gevolglik beide die bilaterale en multilaterale implikasies van SADC-Mercosur verhoudinge aan, terwyl die belangrikheid van markliberalisering asook die gevolg van streeksintegrasie vir die globaliseringsproses in gedagte gehou word. Die studie volg deurgaans 'n beskrywende en analitiese benadering. Daardeur word navorsing op verskiIIende vlakke van analise moontlik gemaak deur die probleem vanuit 'n land-tot-land, land-tot-streek en streek-tot-streek perspektiefte beskou. Deur die fokus op hierdie vlakke word die bilaterale en multilaterale geleenthede vir die betrokke partye geidentifiseer. Deur middel van 'n beskrywende metodologie word die eienskappe en potensiaal van beide streke uitgelig, veral met betrekking tot markgrootte en streeksontwikkeling. Teen die agtergrond van verbeterde suid-suid samewerking word ander areas ook bestudeer, met die oog op moontlike toekomstige geleenthede vir SADC en Mercosur. Statistiese data word deurgaans gebruik om sekere argumente en bevindings toe te lig. Die studie bevind dat uitgebreide SADC-Mercosur verhoudinge etlike voordele inhou. Mercosur hou groot belofte in vir ontwikkelende ekonorniee. Daar is egter ook probleme binne SADC en plaas dit 'n vraagteken oor SADC se vermoe om 'n vennootskap met Mercosur aan te gaan. 'n Meer realistiese opsie sal 'n vennootskap met SACU wees. Maar hierdie opsie behoort nagestreef te word met die oog op die spoedige insluiting van SADC. Die blote grootte en status van SADC is 'n belangrike faktor in die uitbreiding van suid-suid samewerking. Dit sou ideaal wees om verhoudinge tussen SADC en Mercosur tot op 'n ware interstreekse vlak te ontwikkel met die moontlikheid van 'n toekomstige transatlantiese vrye handelsooreenkoms. Hierdie visie behoort altyd in gedagte gehou te word in die nastreef van verhoudinge met Mercosur.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52263
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