In presidential systems, foreign policy has been traditionally perceived as linked to the Executive. Such tie becomes overtly evident in Latin America, a region marked by strong authoritarian past and where the strength of the Executive remains despite of the return of Democracy in the last few decades. Even in the face of a strong Executive, there is a growing trend in the Americas of the Legislative becoming more active in regard to International Affairs. Considering such trend, the present study attempts to break with the perceived notion of the Legislative's indifference to foreign policy by analyzing the stance taken by nine Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) from 1990 until the present, holding commerce and defense as key issues. Initially, research will be carried out on determining the capability of the Legislative on influencing policy-making in the realm of foreign affairs. Next, attempt will be made to evaluate the relationship between the Executive and the Legislative when dealing with foreign affairs in order to determine the relevant institutional factors at play.
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