The continued existence and development of these disparities have made a mockery of international institutions as they have failed to assist the developing nations to implementing their national goals and interests. One does not need to elaborate on this subject as the mechanism of the international institutions are common knowledge to all those even remotely associated with this subject. Therefore, a new approach to inter-state and inter-regional cooperation, coordination and collaboration is necessary in order to resolve the existing problems; an approach, which does not make the sphere of public ends at its national borders, but rather, an approach, which distinguishes and crafts an effective regional political and socioeconomic system that not only helps the governments solve their problems, but also has the trickle down effect to the masses. As Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern (1999) assert, "A clear jurisdictional loop, reaching from the national to the international (regional and global) level and back to the national; a participation loop, bringing into the process all actors -- governments, civil society and business; all population groups, including all generations; and all groups of countries; an incentive loop to ensure that cooperation yields fair and clear results for all (Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern, 1999)."
An argument in favor of the creation of a Latin American Social Institution social-regional institution in Latin America will not only help those countries better understand the present day problems but it will also allow them to draft policies and roadmaps that may assist them in solving their problems. This cannot be done at the international level because in order to successfully craft policies that assist in solving the problems, it is imperative that all participating states should have common aims and goals and should have good motives and intentions. This can only take place at the regional level, since; many conflicting interests exist at the international level.
In addition, democracy, pluralistic approach of governance along with technological advancements has created an atmosphere where it has become imperative for the Latin American governments to look not only internally but also externally in order to solve their present day problems. This attitude has given rise to the idea of creating an institution where common grounds can be achieved to move in the direction of resoling disputes and problems. Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern (1999) write, "With the lowering of at-the-border controls, but also with enhanced political pluralism and democracy, countries have become more open. Combined with technological advances, this has encouraged more international economic activity -- more foreign trade, more foreign investment and more international travel and communications-international economic activities act as ever more powerful transmission belts of externalities. It is this fact that makes Kapstein conclude that the time has come when many hitherto domestic issues, such as labor rights and taxation, can no longer adequately be dealt with at the national level, but ought to be taken to the international level (Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern, 1999)."
They further emphasize the need for cooperation, coordination and collaboration amongst states by highlighting the present day dilemma of healthcare and natural and man-made disasters in the Latin America. Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern (1999) write, "The integration of markets -- and the internationalization of marketing -- even non-communicable diseases today are a global health issue (Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern, 1999)." The writers point towards, "global warming, the growing international inequality, the crisis-prone financial markets, the emergence of new drug-resistant disease strains, the rapid loss of biodiversity and genetic engineering," as well as, "the spread of unhealthy consumption patterns, such as smoking, which worldwide advertisements inflict on new consumer groups that may lack the information to make an informed choice about whether to consume the product. Clearly, openness has increased the meaning of interdependence, which used to be de facto connectedness among legally sovereign nations (Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern, 1999)." Since, all these issues are relatively important and pose tough challenges for the future generations in not only Latin America but also the world at large, steps will have to be taken by the Latin American governments that lead to greater cooperation, at least, at the regional level, so that the effect and influence of these global menaces can be at least slowed down if not eradicated.
Furthermore, another argument in favor of the creation of a Latin American social institution is the shift is state authority and power, from the representative governments to the international organizations, such as the IMF, WTO and the World Bank. Boyer and Drache (1996), Matthews (1997), Ndegwa (1996) and Strange (1996) all show concern towards the weakening of the state authority over the international institutions. Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern (1999) argue, "Governments today are accountable to both domestic and international constituencies. Governments are transmission belts between internal and external demands, intermediaries rather than myopic agents of "purely" national self-interest. No doubt, politicians are elected by domestic constituencies, their primary point of reference. But to serve domestic interests well, policy-makers have to take the outside into account, certainly not to build protectionist barriers or just to defend the country against outside influences, but in a much more demanding task, to combine national interests with international exigencies in a way that maximizes the country's welfare. Put differently, the challenge is to tackle the interlinked, internal-external issues that the new class of global public goods presents (Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern, 1999)."
The Possible Mechanisms of the Latin American Social Institution
Almost all theorists agree that the fundamental problem hindering cooperation at the international level is (1) the lack of trust and (2) free riding on the pains and hard work of others. While the former problem can be tackled through unconditional access to the facts, figures and statistics of all the states, the latter problem poses a more complicated and tough challenge, since, this is where the international institutions fail to produce any positive results for the developing nations, particularly the Latin American countries.
The success of the social institution in Latin America lies solely on producing a system that protects the participating states from reaching the above two dilemmas. This goal can be achieved by ending the jurisdictional, participating and incentive disparities amongst the Latin American countries. Jurisdictional disparity can be resolved by introducing a set of laws, rules and regulations that runs from the national to the regional; from the regional to the international, then back from the international to the regional and then to the national-- by means of numerous transitional levels, territorial and national. The Latin American countries can achieve this by creating state externality outlines, Internalizing cross-conflicts, re-embodying national policies to regional concerns, connecting state and regional policy programs, escalating regional collaboration and fetching the advantages of regional cooperation back at the state level. The participation gap can be closed by changing the state policies and bringing them in line with the regional policies and at the same time, crafting horizontal networking rather than vertical networking, as seen in the past. The incentive gap can be closed by making stern progress in the above two, which are, closing down the jurisdictional and participation disparity. Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern, (1999) write, "Incentive compatibility means that international cooperation is seen by all concerned parties to be a worthwhile outcome, leading to clear national net benefits. It is important to emphasize "net" because rational actors will consider both the gross benefits from cooperation as well as the costs, including the linkage costs or transactions costs. More than financial, the costs can include a loss of independence (Isabelle Grunberg, Inge Kaul and Marc a. Stern, 1999)."
It is important to understand here that cooperation is not an end itself, but rather the means to an end. It is often seen that international collective-actors have identical goals but when it comes to cooperation, they fail miserably. This is because they do not pay enough attention to the above three variables and quite often completely overlook these fundamentals. Therefore, if Latin American countries are thinking about creating a social institution, resembling the European Union structure, then it is imperative that they develop a system that is compatible and flexible enough to integrate the three fundamentals mentioned above.
Boyer, Robert, and Daniel Drache, eds. States against Markets: The Limits of Globalization. London and New York: Routledge, 1996.
Frieden, Jeff and Martin, Lisa. International Political Economy: The state of the sub-discipline. Department of Government, Harvard University, 2000.
Fearon, James D. Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation. International Organization 52 (2): 269-305, 1998.