Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Kenneth Paul Erickson

Committee Members

Carolyn M. Somerville

Benjamin Rivlin

Dankwart A. Rustow

Howard H. Lentner

Subject Categories

Political Science


This dissertation examines and confirms the hypothesis, through the study of the evolution of the Andean Group (a subregional economic integration unit in South America), that economic integration is a quasi-cyclical process involving phases of progress, stagnation, and decline. It is not a smooth linear progression. This quasi-cyclical evolution is fundamentally determined by the governments of the member countries. As such, the individual governments are the most important actors in setting the evolution of the economic integration process.

The integration process will progress when all the governments of the member countries find the Andean Group useful for attaining some of their objectives. The integration process will stagnate if a minority of the governments consider that integration does not further some of their aims. The process will regress if most of the member countries find that it does not help them to accomplish some of their national interests.

Research guided by this perspective will result in better understanding of the process of economic integration, which so far has defied successful explanation. Such understanding is especially important to help predict future developments of economic integration efforts. A better knowledge of these processes will allow us to entertain more realistic expectations about the possibilities and the limits of the integration processes. This study will also be of timely and practical use, considering the revival of integration processes all over the world. This research project is the first to cover the entire history of the Andean Group (1969-1995) and at the same time to present a comparative political economy analysis of the Andean countries.

The study focuses on the interactions among the Andean countries to understand the evolution of the integration process. It also examines the evolution through changes in the strategy of development, economic policies, and external factors influencing the governments of the member countries. Although it is important to analyze the domestic factors which affect national objectives, this type of analysis is left to other investigations.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.