Paper by Dr Gladys Lechini, Senior Researcher, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) Argentina and Dr María Noel Dussort, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Argentina.

Latin American (LA) theoretical approaches have not always been recognised as such by the mainstream international relations scholars and even in the LA region itself. Some of them just do not admit LA theories as a School of Thought, arguing that “it would be absurd to build a theory of international relations based in countries such as Malaysia and Costa Rica” (Waltz, 1979, p. 72 in Frasson- Quenoz, 2016). This statement supports the thinking that a general theory of international politics must necessarily be based on the great powers (Tickner et al., 2012).

Nevertheless, most Latin American scholars, mainly from Argentina and Brazil, recognise that there is a Latin American theoretical approach, conceived to answer to regional issues from a local point of view. “It is not absurd to construct a theoretical, methodological or conceptual framework to support external policies whose purpose is not the struggle for world power, but to overcome underdevelopment and dependence” (Bernal Meza, 2016: 3). Therefore, it is possible to think that the South could face the challenges imposed by global powers and build theories accordingly.

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