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Scholarly Research on U.S.-Latin American Relations: Where Does the Field Stand?



This article draws on a new dataset to depict the scope, objectives, and methods of research in the field of U.S.-Latin American relations over the past quarter-century. The key findings are that the study of U.S.-Latin American relations focuses largely on foreign policy analysis, is mainly descriptive, relies overwhelmingly on qualitative methods, and is fairly detached from the main research trends in international relations. In light of this assessment, the article emphasizes the need to pay more attention to issues of theory development and explanation in this subfield of international relations.