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Making Sense of Rapprochement Between Argentina and Brazil, 1979-1982

Author:

Gian Luca Gardini

University of Cambridge, GB
About Gian Luca
Gardini (PhD Cambridge) is Research Associate at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge. His interests cover democracy and  regional integration in the Southern Cone and US-Latin American relations.  Among his recent publications are ‘Two critical passages on the Road to Mercosur’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, and ‘The Hidden Diplomatic History of Argentine-Brazilian Bilateral Integration: Implications for Historiography  and Theory’, The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
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Abstract

This article challenges some traditional interpretations of the question of the Itaipú dam as a turning  point of Argentine-Brazilian relations from rivalry  to friendly cooperation. It is argued that the basic  problem between the two countries throughout the  1970s was not the question of the dam itself but  the changing relative economic power, aggravated  by the often naïve geo-political thinking characterising both military administrations. Because of  this, to turn the sign of bilateral relations from  conflictive to cooperative, a sequence of confidence-building experiences, rather than a single  agreement, however important, was bound to be  required. This sequence occurred between 1979  and 1982.  

Resumen: Entendiendo el Acercamiento Entre Argentina y Brasil, 1979-1982

Este artículo cuestiona algunas interpretaciones  tradicionales del problema de la presa de Itaipú  como un cambio decisivo en las relaciones entre  Argentina y Brasil, que pasaron de ser relaciones  de rivalidad, a de amistosa cooperación. Se argumenta que durante los años setenta el problema  básico entre los dos países no fue la cuestión de la  presa misma, sino el relativo y cambiante poder  económico, agravado por ideas geopolíticas a  menudo simplistas que caracterizaron a los dos  gobiernos militares. Debido a esto, para convertir  las relaciones de conflictivas en relaciones de colaboración, fue necesaria una secuencia de experiencias que ayudaran a construir confianza, más que un  solo acuerdo, por importante que fuese.  

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9655
How to Cite: Gardini, G. L. (2006). Making Sense of Rapprochement Between Argentina and Brazil, 1979-1982. ERLACS, (80), 57–71. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9655
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Published on 15 Apr 2006.
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