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Core Course Michaelmas 2019

Centre of Latin American Studies


Introduction to the Political Economy of Latin America

Pedro Mendes Loureiro

This session gives a broad overview of the political economy of Latin America, both as a field of research and as a substantive dimension of the continent. It addresses the models of capitalist development in the region during the last decades, highlighting patterns of labour relations, business organisation, the international insertion of the economies, the dependence on commodity exports, and party-political structures. Inequalities, a key aspect of Latin America’s political economy, are addressed in a later session. The discussions are structured around the processes that took place with the transition to neoliberalism, during the 1980s and 1990s, and with the rise and fall of left-of-centre governments (the ‘Pink Tide’), during the 2000s and 2010s. This session also presents some of the main research topics and approaches within the broad field of Latin American political economy.

Key issues

  • Varieties of capitalism
  • Neoliberalism
  • The Pink Tide
  • Party systems
  • Extractivism and commodity exports

Required readings (see Moodle)

Further readings

  • Abu-El-Haj, J. 2016. Brazilian Left Bonapartism and the Rise of Finance Capital: A Critique of the Internal-Bourgeoisie Thesis. Latin American Perspectives, 43(2), 207-216.
  • Arsel, M., Hogenboom, B. and Pellegrini, L. 2016. The extractive imperative in Latin America. Extractive Industries and Society, 3(4), 880-887.
  • Barndt, W. T. 2014. Corporation‐based Parties: The Present and Future of Business Politics in Latin America. Latin American Politics and Society, 56(3), 1-22.
  • Bogliaccini, J. A. 2013. Trade Liberalization, Deindustrialization, and Inequality: Evidence from Middle-Income Latin American Countries. Latin American Research Review, 48(2), 79-105.
  • Boito Jr, A. and Saad-Filho, A. 2016. State, State Institutions, and Political Power in Brazil. Latin American Perspectives, 43(2), 190-206.
  • Cabalé Miranda, E. and Rodríguez Pérez de Agreda, G. M. 2018. Progress and Development: One and the Same in Latin America? Latin American Perspectives, 45(2), 62-73.
  • Caldentey, E. P. and Vernengo, M. 2010. Back to the future: Latin America's current development strategy. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 32(4), 623-644.
  • Coatsworth, J. H. 2008. Inequality, Institutions and Economic Growth in Latin America. Journal of Latin American Studies, 40(3), 545-569.
  • Conniff, M. L., et al., 2012. Populism in Latin America: Second Edition. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press.
  • Donaghy, M. 2018. Reforming the Relationship between the State and Civil Society in Latin America. Latin American Research Review, 53(2), 388-393.
  • Ebenau, M. 2014. Comparative capitalisms and Latin American neodevelopmentalism: A critical political economy view. Capital & Class, 38(1), 102-114.
  • Edwards, S., 2010. Left behind: Latin America and the false promise of populism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Ellner, S. 2013. Latin America’s Radical Left in Power: Complexities and Challenges in the Twenty-first Century. Latin American Perspectives, 40(3), 5-25.
  • Ellner, S. 2015. Latin America at a Crossroads. Latin American Perspectives, 42(4), 47-50.
  • Fraile, L. 2009. Lessons from Latin America's neo-liberal experiment: An overview of labour and social policies since the 1980s. International Labour Review, 148, 215-233.
  • Grigera, J. 2017. Populism in Latin America: Old and new populisms in Argentina and Brazil. International Political Science Review, 38(4), 441-455.
  • Grugel, J. and Riggirozzi, P. 2012. Post-neoliberalism in Latin America: Rebuilding and Reclaiming the State after Crisis. Development and Change, 43(1), 1-21.
  • Gudynas, E. 2012. Estado compensador y nuevos extractivismos: las ambivalencias del progresismo sudamericano. Nueva Sociedad, 237, 128-146.
  • Harris, R. L. 2015. China’s Relations with the Latin American and Caribbean Countries: A Peaceful Panda Bear instead of a Roaring Dragon. Latin American Perspectives, 42(6), 153-190.
  • Jenkins, R. 2015. Is Chinese Competition Causing Deindustrialization in Brazil? Latin American Perspectives, 42(6), 42-63.
  • Katz, C. 2015. Dualities of Latin America. Latin American Perspectives, 42(4), 10-42.
  • Kay, C. and Vergara-Camus, L., eds., 2018. La cuestión agraria y los gobiernos de izquierda en América Latina: campesinos, agronegocio y neodesarrollismo. Buenos Aires: CLACSO.
  • Levitsky, S. and Roberts, K. M., eds., 2011. The resurgence of the Latin American left. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Mainwaring, S. and Pérez-Liñán, A., 2014. Rethinking Theories of Democratization in Latin America and Beyond. In: Mainwaring, S. and Pérez-Liñán, A. eds. Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 269-296.
  • Mainwaring, S. and Scully, T. R., eds., 1995. Building democratic institutions: Party systems in Latin America. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Marston, A. and Kennemore, A. 2018. Extraction, Revolution, Plurinationalism: Rethinking Extractivism from Bolivia. Latin American Perspectives, online first, 1-20.
  • Menaldo, V. 2015. The New Political Economy of Natural Resources in Latin America. Latin American Politics and Society, 57(1), 163-173.
  • Molyneux, M. 2008. The ‘Neoliberal Turn’ and the New Social Policy in Latin America: How Neoliberal, How New? Development and Change, 39(5), 775-797.
  • Ocampo, J. A., Bastian, E. F. and Reis, M. 2018. The myth of the 'Latin American decade'. PSL Quarterly Review, 71(285), 231-251.
  • Perez, C., Marin, A. and Navas-Alemán, L., 2014. The Possible Dynamic Role of Natural Resource-Based Networks in Latin American Development Strategies. In: Dutrénit, G. and Sutz, J. eds. National Innovation Systems, Social Inclusion and Development: the Latin American Experience. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 380-412.
  • Piva, A., 2015. Economía y política en la Argentina kirchnerista. Buenos Aires: Batalla de Ideas.
  • Portes, A. and Hoffman, K. 2003. Latin American Class Structures: Their Composition and Change during the Neoliberal Era. Latin American Research Review, 38(1), 41-82.
  • Ramírez López, B. P. 2017. Latin America’s Domestic Market and the Maintenance of Capitalism. Latin American Perspectives, 45(2), 74-84.
  • Roberts, K. M., 2014. Changing Course in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Saad-Filho, A., Iannini, F. and Molinari, E. J., 2007. Neoliberalism, democracy and economic policy in Latin America. In: Arestis, P. and Sawyer, M. eds. Political economy of Latin America: recent issues and performance. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1-35.
  • Sader, E. 2008. The Weakest Link? Neoliberalism in Latin America. New Left Review, (52), 5-31.
  • Sankey, K. and Munck, R. 2016. Rethinking Development in Latin America: The Search for Alternative Paths in the Twenty-first Century. Journal of Developing Societies, 32(4), 334-361.
  • Svampa, M. 2013. Consenso de "Commodities" y Lenguajes de Valoración en América Latina. Nueva Sociedad, (244), 30-46.