Bruno Dalponte

Bringing the South American Defence Council to life: The role of secondary powers in the construction of regional security dynamics

Supervisors: Dr Marco Vieira / Dr Rita Floyd

My research focuses on the development of new patterns of behaviour and interaction between South American states since the last democratization wave hit he region, in the mid-80s. Specifically, I am looking into the dimension of regional security, trying to establish if recent cooperation initiatives, such as the creation of the South American Defence Council (SADC), respond to the emergence of new agreements in the region regarding how to deal with inter-state security and defence, or not.

Taking the creation of the SADC as the newest development within a larger chain of regional initiatives designed to enhance mutual trust and cooperation, I expect to provide a nuanced account of the historical, social, and political processes that have shaped the security environment of the region for the last 30 years. My objective is to identify the main building blocks of regional politics in South America, in order to understand the larger context of recent developments. To do this, I resort to theoretical frameworks that will allow me to highlight the interactions between the domestic, the regional, and the international levels, particularly Regional Security Complex Theory and a regional re-interpretation of the English School perspective. Nevertheless, in doing so, I will also analyze the meanings and the value attributed by South American players themselves to key notions and principles (such as autonomy, non-intervention, consensus, and cooperation, among others).

I will also try to identify the incentives and disincentives that secondary regional powers (like Argentina, Chile and Colombia) had to join the Brazil-inspired initiative. My argument is that, despite a number of disincentives to join in, secondary powers also perceived the creation of the SADC to be a step in accordance with the regional security environment and to work in their respective interests. In this sense, I expect to make a contribution to recent research on the creation of the SADC, which tends to understand this institutions exclusively from the perspective of a growing Brazilian leadership/hegemony. I am looking to bring forward the agency of a wider range of regional players, and understand the reach of their influence on regional politics.


  • BA in Government and International Relations (UADE, Argentina);
  • Master in International Studies (Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Argentina) 

Research interests

  • South American regional politics
  • Security Studies
  • Regional cooperation/integration
  • South-South cooperation
  • Securitization theory
  • Critical Discourse Analysis

Professional memberships

  • Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS)
  • Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales (CARI)

Teaching responsibilities

  • Graduate Teaching Associate – Introduction to International Relations (POLS105)

Conference papers

Dalponte, B. (2014), “Contextualizing South American regional security dynamics. The creation of UNASUR and beyond”, IV WISC Global International Studies Conference, Frankfurt am Main

Dalponte, B. (2010), “El  proyecto  global  brasilero  y  su  impacto  en la  política  regional sudamericana”, V Latin-American Political Science Congress (ALACIP), Buenos Aires

Dalponte, B. and Marinkeff, C. (2009), “La relevancia estratégica del vínculo ABC en la política exterior argentina”, I International Relations Conference (FLACSO-Argentina).


Döring, M, Dalponte, B, and Hoffay, M. (2010), “América del Sur frente al acuerdo militar entre Colombia y Estados Unidos: La UNASUR y el CDS en acción”, Anuario de la Integración Regional de América Latina y el Gran Caribe, Nº8, Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (CRIES).

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