Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor's Name

Astrid Arrarás

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committe Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jorge Duany

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Eduardo Gamarra

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


International and Area Studies

Date of Defense



This thesis seeks to answer why the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) has failed to achieve its two major goals: to create a socialist alternative to neoliberalism and foster mutual cooperation among the members. Important constructivist works from Nicolas Onuf and Alexander Wendt were used throughout. Emphasis is given to the debate between social construction and material reality that has hindered ALBA’s goals.

Three reasons led to why ALBA could not achieve its two major goals. First, the successors to the founding leaders of ALBA did not share the same sympathy toward socialism, and instead carved their own foreign policy. Second, ALBA did not create a socialist alternative since its programs were plagued by ill-defined rules. Third, China, Iran, and Russia, were pulled to ALBA due to the influence of Venezuela. These actors related to ALBA members on a bilateral basis, which hurt ALBA’s mutual cooperation.





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