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Revista de Sociologia e Política

On-line version ISSN 1678-9873


MEDEIROS, Marcelo de Almeida et al. The issue of representation within the Mercosur: Parlasur and FCCR as case studies. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2010, vol.18, n.37, pp.31-57. ISSN 1678-9873.

One of the problems that has attracted the greatest attention of scholars who study Regional International Organizations is the issue of representation. The institutional arrangements that have been built up within these organizations have sought to reflect representation in its twofold expression, in other words, as an assembly of member-states and another that is made up of citizens' delegates. However, some arrangements have innovated by creating forums made up of sub-national entities, thus seeking to attenuate what certain authors have referred to as the "democracy deficit". Our objectives here are to scrutinize the constitutive dynamics of two Southern Common Market organs of representation: (i) the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur) and (ii) the Constitutive Forum of Municipalities, Federate States, Provinces and Departments of the Southern Common Market (Foro Consultivo de Municípios, Estados Federados, Províncias e Departamentos do Mercosul (FCCR). We attempt to identify the parameters that provide support for their respective compositions and, from there, go on to reflect on the issue of representation. We come to the conclusion that, notwithstanding the essentially consultative roles of Parlasur and the FCCR and their imperfections regarding practices of representation and control, they nonetheless become concrete elements that may or may not create momentum for new political inventions.

Keywords : Southern Common Market; representation; Parliament; para-diplomacy; regionalism.

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