Transnational threats and security in the Americas: Patterns, contradictions, and more

Enrique S. Pumar


The article examines conflict patterns in Latin America since the second half of the twentieth century. It seems paradoxical that the region is one of the most peaceful in terms of interstate conflicts while contending with numerous domestic crises. The article first examines the peace studies literature and argues that neither the micro, macro, or more recent meso approach fits the Latin American experience well. Instead, a different approach proposes incorporating the effects of transnationalism, especially of transnational security concerns, into any consideration of peace in the region. Transnational threat perception diverts attention, suggests the need to handle a common enemy, increases the cost of fighting a conventional war, and involves issue-linkages. These factors along with the traditional absence of ethnic rivalries and the presence of international actors sustain the long peace in Latin America.

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