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Journal of Economic Integration 2016 December;31(4) :855-897.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11130/jei.2016.31.4.855
From Success to Failure : Under What Conditions Did Mercosur Integrate?
Gabriela Lomeu Campos 
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Corresponding Author: Gabriela Lomeu Campos ,Tel: +46736471964, Email: gabilomeu93@gmail.com
Copyright ©2016 Journal of Economic Integration
ABSTRACT
The Mercado Comum do Sur (Mercosul in Portuguese) is a regional integration bloc in Latin America. Mercosur has fallen dramatically from being a regional integration bloc, experiencing remarkable success in integration to becoming a stalled bloc that has failed to meet the initial expectations set. This paper looks beyond current European-centered theories of regional integration. It tests Malamud’s (2003) theory of interpresidentialism and Mattli’s (1999) theory of regional integration to evaluate what drove Mercosur integration. The focus is on Mercosur, from its formation in 1991 to the present day, engaging with theory, academic papers and official government speeches to identify what controlled integration in this regional bloc. This paper concludes that state leadership, especially that of Brazil’s, was and continues to be crucial in shaping the integration in Latin America. This leadership was largely influenced by the national gains, both economic and political.

JEL Classification
F14: Empirical Studies of Trade
F15: Economic Integration
F17: Trade Forecasting and Simulation
Keywords: Mercosur | Mercosul | Regional Integration | Regional Leadership | Trading Bloc | Economic Institutions | International Institutions
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