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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

US military bases, quasi-bases, and domestic politics in Latin America
by Bitar, Sebastian, Ph.D., American University, 2014, 220; 3618084
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the obstacles for US formal military bases in Latin America. While in the past, the United States managed to establish bases in several countries in the region, despite Washington's efforts every negotiation to open new bases has failed since 2000, and older bases have been terminated, as in the case of Ecuador. Using evidence from Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, and other countries in the region, the dissertation finds that shifts in government preferences do not explain this failure. Instead, domestic challenges to host governments in Latin America systematically appear as blocking mechanisms that impede the establishment of foreign military bases, even when leaders support them.

The dissertation builds on the work of Alexander Cooley and others and develops a model of base politics to explain how domestic political calculations affect foreign basing negotiations. Furthermore, the dissertation finds that when formal bases have not succeeded, interested governments have worked around domestic constrains to establish alternative and informal arrangements that allow US military presence and operations in their countries. These alternative arrangements, or quasi-bases, have advanced US security interests in Latin America even in the absence of formal base leases, while at the same time their secrecy and informality protects Latin American leaders from domestic contestation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jackson, Patrick T.
Commitee: Hershberg, Eric, Tickner, Arlene B.
School: American University
Department: School of International Service
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American Studies, International Relations, Military studies
Keywords: Base politics, Democracy, Domestic politics, Foreign policy, Latin america, Military bases
Publication Number: 3618084
ISBN: 978-1-303-86124-6
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