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Regional Infrastructure Systems

The Political Economy of Regional Infrastructure

Colin Turner

As the international economy globalises, there is a need for national infrastructure systems to adapt to form a global infrastructure system. This network of networks aids mobility between national systems as a means of supporting their territorial needs and preferences. This reflects a strategic approach to state infrastructuring as nations seek to utilise these physical systems to support and enhance their territoriality. Providing a thorough examination through the lens of economic infrastructure, the book addresses the forces of integration and fragmentation in global networks.
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Chapter 5: The Americas’ infrastructure system

Colin Turner


There has been no real attempt to create a pan-American system of infrastructure. As such, the development of regional infrastructure in the Americas has been based on the links between states within the sub-regional agreements. Those studied within this chapter are NAFTA (North America), CARICOM (Caribbean) and UNASUR (South America). With regards to NAFTA, action linked to the formal free trade agreement (notably in transport) has been limited. However, in energy there are extensive links between the states. In CARICOM, the focus has been on creating a regional system for integration into global logistical channels. However, these measures tend to be interstate rather than indicative of deeper regional integration. Finally, UNASUR has made a concerted effort to develop regional infrastructure as part of these states’ strategy to upgrade national infrastructure systems. However, despite a series of high-profile initiatives, progress has also been limited.

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