Melbourne Law School
Thursday 28 March
Room 920, Level 9
1:00PM - 2:00PM


About the seminar

The Pacific Alliance (PA) presents itself as a sui generis mechanism for regional integration comprising Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. This thesis examines the main institutional features of the PA, the factors that explain these institutional choices and to what extent its institutional framework is suitable to support the objectives of the PA in the long-term. This thesis argues that the PA is not a sui generis institutional model of economic regionalism. The PA’s decentralised organisational structure and informal approach to institutional development do not equip it with the distinctiveness that governments claim.

Although there is extensive literature comparing regionalism projects in Latin America to the European Union ‘model’, this thesis attempts to provide an analytical framework for understanding the PA’s institutional design in its own right.

Based on insights from new institutionalisms – constructivist and rational institutionalism – and doctrinal and empirical analysis, this thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach to explore the institutional dimension of the PA. This thesis maintains that, as the PA evolves, the development of regional policies and regional public goods, as well as regulatory harmonisation and convergence, will require institutional adjustments to deal with the tasks of (i) decision making; (ii) administration; (iii) monitoring; (iv) information production and management; (v) enforcement; and (vi) dispute resolution.

This thesis has significance for policy entrepreneurs, government officials and academics by mapping and explaining the institutional approach taken by the PA architects, how it has evolved and the benefits and shortfalls arising from it. This thesis is a tool to inform policy decisions regarding institutional changes to the PA. It also tests rational and constructivist insights from institutionalisms.

About the presenter

Ana María Palacio Valencia is a PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School. She holds a Masters of Laws from the University of Melbourne, graduate diplomas in business law from Deakin University and Externado University, and a Bachelor of Laws from EAFIT University in Colombia.

Prior to undertaking her doctoral studies, Ana Maria worked as a legal adviser for the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism in Colombia on international economic law topics such as technical barriers to trade and services regulation.

She assisted the Colombian government in the negotiation of preferential trade agreements with the Republic of Korea, Panama, Turkey and the Pacific Alliance. Ana Maria has experience in private commercial law practice and has undertaken consultancy work for the Inter-American Development Bank and Latin American regional think tanks.

Ana Maria is the editor and founder of the blog ‘Shaping the Pacific Alliance’. The blog engages with the general public by critically examining the agenda and ongoing work of the Pacific Alliance. It provides updates on news of the integration mechanism and provides an extensive online library of academic and general sources about the Pacific Alliance.


  • Andrew Mitchell and Ana Maria Palacio, ‘Coordination in the Asian Financial Markets and the Case of TiSA’ (2016) 13 (2) Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, 206-249.
  • Ana María Palacio Valencia and Pierre Sauvé, ‘A New Growth Paradigm? The Services Economy in the Pacific Alliance’ (Report, Inter-American Development Bank, 2017).
  • Ana María Palacio Valencia, 'The Pacific Alliance: Building a Pathway to the High-Hanging Fruits of the Deep Integration' in Pierre Sauvé, Rodrigo Polanco and José Manuel Alvarez, The Pacific Alliance in a World of Preferential Trade Agreements/ Lessons in Comparative Regionalism (Springer, 2018)
  • Ana María Palacio Valencia, 'La Alianza del Pacífico y el Mercosur en la Gobernanza Regional del Comercio de Servicios' (2018) 6 Revista Latinoamericana de Derecho Comercial Internacional [Ana María Palacio Valencia, ‘The Pacific Alliance and Mercosur in the Regional Governance of Services Trade’ (2018) 6 Latin American Journal of International Trade Law.
  • Ana María Palacio Valencia, ‘Marcos regulatorios de servicios e inversiones en la Alianza del Pacifico y Mercosur: ¿Convergencia a normas del siglo XXI?’ (CEPAL, Documento de Trabajo (Por Publicar, 2019)) [Ana María Palacio Valencia, ‘Regulatory Frameworks on Services and Investment in the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur: Is There Convergence with 21st Century Rules?’ (ECLAC Working Paper (Forthcoming, 2019))]
  • Ana María Palacio Valencia and Pierre Sauvé, 'The Collaborative Economy: Prospects and Challenges for the Pacific Alliance' (Forthcoming, 2019) Latin American Journal of International Trade Law.