The role of the Organization of American States in the promotion of a multilateral framework for regional governance

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies

First Committee Member

Bruce M. Bagley - Committee Chair


Since virtual disappearance of the Soviet threat in 1991, the OAS has been experiencing important transformations becoming a significant actor in promoting regional inter-state cooperation and consensus. There is some evidence that indicates that the OAS is assuming new functions and taking on a more active role in setting the rules and agendas for regional governance in the hemisphere. The findings in the security issue-area indicate that through CICAD and the MEM, the OAS is participating in the beginnings of a drug-regime development. In the good governance issue-area, legal instruments such as the Resolution 1080; oversight procedures such as the EOM; intra-elite negotiations mechanisms such as the Mesa processes; bureaucracies promoting education on democracy such as the UPD/SPA; indicate that the OAS is attempting to regulate the regional democratic agenda and promote the beginnings of a development of a Western Hemisphere society of states. This research found evidence that between 1991 and 2005, the OAS, together with other IOs, was instrumental in setting the Western Hemisphere on the right path towards developing an integration scheme around democratic norms and values. Nevertheless in the future, opportunities and challenges lie everywhere for Latin American civil societies and political elites to strengthen democratic institutions, and for the authorities of the OAS to assume a more active role.


History, Latin American; Political Science, General

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