1st Edition

Strategic Culture(s) in Latin America Explaining Theoretical Puzzles and Policy Continuities

    256 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Strategic Culture(s) in Latin America elucidates why many state actors in the Global South exhibit a remarkable degree of policy continuity in their external behavior despite structural incentives for change.

    This book contends that the theoretical notion of strategic culture is instructive to explain such a puzzle. It extends the application of strategic culture beyond the policy of nuclear deterrence among great powers into other equally strategic areas of policy, such as diplomacy, political economy, regional international institutions, legal norms, politico-military institutions, and different security agendas beyond war and peace, for example, the illicit drug trade and peacekeeping missions. The overall contribution of this book is three-fold: first, it rescues, updates, and expands the original conceptual and theoretical dimensions of strategic culture. Second, it extrapolates further theoretical implications of the concept through its application to five policy domains in Latin America beyond the original application of the strategic culture perspective to nuclear weapons strategy among great powers in the 1970s. Third, it draws together the theoretical and policy implications of the strategic cultures in Latin America and identifies possible applications for other peripheral, non-great power policy areas and issues in the Global South.

    This book will be of interest to academics, graduate and undergraduate students, policy analysts, and practitioners of Latin American Studies, International Relations Theory, and Security Studies.


    Arie M. Kacowicz


    Félix E. Martín, Nicolás Terradas, and Diego Zambrano


    1. The Concept of Strategic Culture

    Jack L. Snyder

    2. Updating, Decentering, and Extending Strategic Culture

    Onur Erpul


    3. The Role of “Diplomatic Culture” in the Preservation of Order in South America

    Nicolás Terradas

    4. South American Political Economy: Strategic Culture and the Question of Agency

    Diego Zambrano

    5. Militaries as Influencers and Gatekeepers: Continuity of the Intraregional War-Avoidance Policy

    Félix E. Martín

    6. The Strategic Culture of Prohibition and the Puzzling Continuity of Drug Policies in South America

    Nicolas A. Beckmann

    7. No Place for Cosmopolitan Peacekeeping: South America and Its Prevailing Strategic Culture of Security

    Nicole Jenne


    8. Strategic Culture Travels to Latin America

    Jack L. Snyder


    Onur Erpul, Félix E. Martín, Nicolás Terradas and Diego Zambrano


    Félix E. Martín is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations in the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University in Miami, USA. His areas of specialization include international relations theory, security and peace studies, and international political economy. He is a specialist in the security and political economy of Latin America and Southern Europe. He is currently working on a forthcoming book with Edward Elgar Publishing on the notion of “dis-development,” its theoretical foundations, and its manifestations in selected Latin American countries.

    Nicolás Terradas is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (P UCP), in Lima, Peru, where he teaches courses on IR Theory, Methodology, and IR of Latin America. His general research interests are IR Theory, Security Studies, and Latin American international politics. Currently, his work explores the application of English School insights to the study of Latin America’s international politics, as well as the incorporation of qualitative research tools, such as processtracing analysis, archival research, and case-study research, to the English School methods.

    Diego Zambrano is a research and performance analyst at Paradine. His academic research focuses on International Political Economy, particularly on how global economic conditions shape political and economic relations in South America. His doctoral dissertation from Florida International University in Miami, USA, reinterprets the formation of the South American state to explain the continuity of poverty and inequality in the region.