Raul Salgado Espinoza

The Role of Small States in the South American Integration: Ecuador and Uruguay in the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)

Supervisor: Dr Marco Vieira and Dr Richard Shorten

In the present political world scenario, small states play an important role in global politics and a stronger role in regional politics. They have developed a sense of international political maturity and collective responsibility in global and regional political issues. Their membership in global and regional organisations offers them the possibility of influencing the shape of international politics by supporting each other on their projects and interest within the different international organisations and fore as the EU, OEA, UN, WTO, IMF, ALADI, MERCOSUR, UNASUR, among others.

In this way, the South American small states also actively participate and influence the design of international institutions and policies on a regional as well as on a global level. Therefore, South American small states strongly support integration.

This study endeavours to indentify how the small states Ecuador and Uruguay contributed to UNASUR’s institutional creation, policy formation and its implementation, since UNASUR appears to be the most accepted regional international organization by the South American small states and it projects itself to be one of the most compact and influencing regions politically and economically in this century due to its extensive natural resources, the affinity of the government of the member states and the new approaches to integration.

Therefore, small states’ interest needs to be well represented in this new organization in order to play a more important international role regionally as well as globally.


Mr Salgado Espinoza was an undergraduate at the Universidad Central, Quito - Ecuador and at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn, Germany where he obtained his Magister/MA in Politics, Philosophy and Spanish in 2005. He obtained his PGCE at the Manchester Metropolitan University in 2009 and has taught German and Hispanic Studies at various high schools and colleges in the UK, including the South Cheshire College until 2011. He was also an associated researcher at the University Andina Simón Bolívar and associated Lecturer at the Latin American Faculty of Social Science (FLACSO) Quito, Ecuador in 2011-2012. During this period, he also worked as a political adviser to the Ecuadorian legislative house, Asamblea Nacional del Ecuador. Mr Salgado Espinoza has entered his third year for obtaining his doctorate in Political Sciences and International Studies from the University of Birmingham.


  • MA (Bonn, Germany)
  • PGCE (MMU)

Research interests

Mr Salgado Espinoza’s current research focuses on the role of Ecuador and Uruguay in the South American integration process viewing from the perspective of the study of small states. Further integration processes such as the European Union, the NAFTA are also areas of his research interest, as well as Geopolitics, Security and Diplomacy of small states. 

Professional memberships

  • Member of the International Political Science Association (IPSA)
  • Member of the American Political Science Association (APSA)
  • Member of the Latin American Political Science Association (LAPSA)

Conference papers

Could Brazil become a World Power in the 21st Century without an Integrated South America? (IPSA Conference: Sao Paulo 2011) 

El Rol del Ecuador como Estado pequeño en la formación de la UNASUR (VII Congreso Latino Americano de Ciencia Política (FLACSO-QUITO 2012) 

South America: Its Third Wave of Integration and Regionalism (22nd World Congress of Political Science, MADRID 2012)

Contact details

Email: rxs294@bham.ac.uk