Leslie Wehner

Power, Governance, and Ideas in Chile’s Free Trade Agreement Policy

GIGA Working Paper, No. 102, May 2009

Why is Chile following such a proactive FTA policy and at the same time promoting the benefits of these type of agreements to other Latin American countries? There is a predominance of economic explanations to analyze why countries pursue an active FTA policy. Yet within an FTA policy, understood as an essential component of a country’s foreign policy, strategic and ideational goals are also important. Without downgrading economic explanations, I argue in this article that Chile’s proactive FTA policy can also be understood using variables from "traditional" international relations such as power, governance, and ideas. A framework based on such political-economic strategic issues and value-based ideas provides a better understanding of the country’s motivations in implementing such a proactive FTA policy.

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