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dc.creatorSchiavon, Jorge A.
dc.creatorCrow, David
dc.creatorMaldonado Hernández, Gerardo de Jesús
dc.creatorGonzález González, Guadalupe
dc.description.abstractThe principal findings from the second Latin American edition of the survey The Americas and the World 2010-2011 can be summarized in 10 key trends that highlight the international political culture of the countries surveyed and map out the priorities of and how and where Latin Americans see themselves in relation to the world. 1. Latin Americans are proud of their identity, but reluctant to embrace other countries in the region. Citizens in the region are proud Latin Americans and view the region with optimism. However, Latin American identity is largely abstract and symbolic, lacking a sense of solidarity or concrete interests. Latin Americans are wary of binding commitments in the region. When it comes to assuming costs that imply greater unity and regional cooperation –particularly those of a material nature– Latin Americans are reluctant to participate. Actions such as investing resources, coordinating responses to defend common interests, or sharing sovereignty with other countries in the region receive little support. Neighboring countries are viewed less positively than other countries, making it difficult for mechanisms of regional integration to foster a sense of regional belonging commensurate with the symbolic dimension of Latin American identity. 2. The countries with the greatest capacity for leadership have a “deficit of attention” and knowledge of international affairs. Brazil and Mexico – mid-level powers in the international system – are less knowledgeable and interested in participating in international affairs than countries with less capacity to do so, such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Citizens in Brazil and Mexico have little knowledge of multilateral institutions and international actors, and for distinct reasons, are more focused on internal affairs. Brazil’s lack of interest in international affairs might be explained by the surging national mood of the país mais grande do mundo, while Mexicans’ disinterest might be related to the country’s crisis of internal security. On the other hand, Colombians stand out as the population with the highest level of interest in international affairs and the most knowledge of multilateral institutions and international actors. 3. Latin Americans favor opening their economies to international trade and investment. In spite of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, Latin Americans widely support free trade, view foreign investment as advantageous, and consider that globalization as more positive than negative. Among the wide range of economic policies and strategies for development in the region, there is a broad consensus among Latin Americans of varying socio-economic levels that the benefits of an open economy are far greater than the potential costs, especially in countries with high levels of economic growth such as Peru and Brazil. 4. In Latin America, international affairs are perceived through the perspective of distinct local contexts. Both international threats and foreign policy priorities are viewed through a local lens, with emphasis on those issues most likely to affect daily life. This perception of the world is based on a utilitarian and material rationality rather than the normative logic of international solidarity. How citizens view the state of their country influences how citizens view the world and interpret international events: in Brazil this translates into optimism; in Colombia, into openness; into Ecuador, caution; into Mexico, pessimism; and in Peru, into opportunity. 5. Latin Americans have sent a clear mandate for their foreign ministers to pursue a foreign policy geared toward resolving local problems. There is wide agreement among Latin Americans regarding priorities for foreign policy. Latin Americans consider that foreign policy should serve as an instrument to resolve problems of national insecurity, promote social and economic welfare, fight global warming and boost development and economic growth. In Mexico, foreign policy is seen as a way to promote the nation’s prestige and improve its image through promoting cultural exchange, while in Ecuador, protecting territorial and maritime boundaries is seen as a primary objective of foreign policy. 6. Latin Americans want their countries to participate actively in international affairs using “soft” rather than “hard” power. There is a clear consensus in the countries surveyed to use culture, commerce, and diplomacy, rather than military power, to extend their influence in the world. Latin Americans’ rejection of the use of military force does not stem from a poor image of the military; on the contrary, the armed forces are among the most trusted national institutions, leaving behind stigmas from the era of Latin American dictatorships: the army is no longer seen as the enemy of civil society, or as the caretaker or incubator of democracy. 7. Latin Americans may be divided into two ways of looking at the world: from the perspective of the American Continent, or with a more global vision. While some countries consider that their principal partners and interests are based in the American continent, others look toward alliances and opportunities outside of the region. For Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico, visions of the world are limited