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Leslie E. Wehner

This chapter reviews the most important contemporary international relations and characteristics of South American small states: Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay but also Chile. The chapter presents an analysis of each small power in South America, touching upon its domestic conditions and its foreign policy towards neighbours, regional powers, regional groups and extra-regional actors: mainly the US, as global hegemon. It is assumed that South American small powers with weak institutional capacity will tend to follow their own and current set of governmental political, economic and ideological priorities rather than develop and stick to a long-term and planned foreign policy, as would be expected in the case of states with strong domestic institutions.