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World Politics

Evolution of the Organization of American States in the 1990s

Khadorich Liliya Vyacheslavovna

PhD in History

Researcher, Ibero-American Centre of Saint Petersburg University

191060, Russia, Sankt-Peterburg, g. Saint Petersburg, ul. Smol'nogo, 1/3, 8 pod''ezd

Jeifets Victor Lazarevich

Doctor of History

Professor of Department of Theory and History of International Relations of Saint Petersburg State University

191060, Russia, St. Petersburg, ul. Smol'nogo, 1/3, 8 pod''ezd




Review date:


Publish date:


Abstract: The period of the 1990s was a turning point for the Organization of American States (OAS): on the one hand the international organization assumed a continental character having formally united all the 35 independent countries of the Western hemisphere, and on the other hand, the change of the foundations of international relations in the result of the collapse of the bipolar system meant an inevitable transformation of the fundamental principles of the OAS activities. Democracy promotion, resulting from the processes of democratization of the 1980s, started to develop; a fundamental revision of different security approaches started on the basis of rejection of an idea of combating the Communist threat; the need to create a new scenario of regional development in general became evident. The main purpose of the article is to provide an analysis of the main institutional and functional transformation of the OAS in the 1990s. The emphasis is made on the contradictions the member-states faced in their search for the models of multilateral cooperation within the framework of the oldest regional organization of the Western Hemisphere. The authors propose the idea that the transformations of the OAS in the period of the 1990s resulted from the joint search for new models of regional development, however the deep Inter-American controversies did not allow the OAS to fully overcome the negative legacy of the previous decades and to update the mechanisms of interaction, providing them with the maximum efficiency. Inability to cope with the existing controversies limited the achievements of the OAS in the period under consideration. Nevertheless, the 1990s laid the principal directions of the OAS development in the beginning of the XXI century. 

Keywords: Inter-American System, Inter-American relations, democratization, regional integration, Latin America, the USA, the end of Cold War, the OAS, regional security, Summits of the Americas
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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