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Neoliberal globalization and the downfall of open regionalism: The Latin American case

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As described in the Introduction to this volume, the politicization of regional integration in Europe in the 1990s gave rise to a debate about the legitimacy of regional integration there, and that in turn raised questions about when and how legitimacy might be at stake in other world regions.1 The North American experience has been strikingly different from Europe, yet there are some clear-cut parallels and divergences that suggest space for useful comparisons. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the importance of legitimacy debates in North America, assess their effects on the form and trajectory of regional cooperation and suggest a preliminary framework for further comparative research.