Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2009

Power, Governance, and Ideas in Chile's Free Trade Agreement Policy

Leslie Wehner

May 2009

German Institute of Global and Area Studies


Why is Chile following such a proactive FTA policy and at the same time promoting the benefits of these type of agreements to other Latin American countries? There is a pre-dominance of economic explanations to analyze why countries pursue an active FTA policy. Yet within an FTA policy, understood as an essential component of a country's foreign policy, strategic and ideational goals are also important. Without downgrading economic explanations, I argue in this article that Chile's proactive FTA policy can also be under-stood using variables from "traditional" international relations such as power, governance, and ideas. A framework based on such political-economic strategic issues and value-based ideas provides a better understanding of the country's motivations in implementing such a proactive FTA policy.