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Key Issues and Texts: Development and Policy

Seminar 1: Industrialisation, commodities-led growth, and catching-up (PML) 

This session examines recent development strategies in Latin America, interrogating their views regarding what economic policies should be adopted to reach fast and sustained growth. The session discusses how different strategies see the role of manufacturing versus resource-based development; advocate for export-orientated versus domestic-focused growth; analyse global value chains and how climb to their higher links; and integrate growth into a larger policy and development framework.

Key issues

  • New/neo-developmentalism
  • Neostructuralism
  • Export-orientated growth
  • Resource-based development
  • Global value chains

Key texts

Bibliography
 

Seminar 2: Latin American Development Experience in Historical and Comparative Perspectives (HJC)

Key texts

  • Chang, H.-J., 2006. The East Asian Model of Economic Policy. In: Chang, H.-J. ed. The East Asian development experience: the miracle, the crisis and the future. London: Zed.
  • Loureiro, P. M., 2018. Reformism, class conciliation and the Pink Tide: material gains and their limits. In: Ystanes, M. and Stronen, I. eds. The social life of economic inequalities in contemporary Latin America: decades of change. Cheltenham: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Palma, G., 2003. The Latin American Economies during the Second Half of the Twentieth Century - from the Age of 'ISI' to the Age of 'The End of History' In: Chang, H.-J. ed. Rethinking development economics. London: Anthem.

Background reading

  • Chang, H.-J., 2002. Kicking away the ladder? Development strategy in historical perspective. London: Anthem. chs. 1-2.
  • Evans, P., 1995. Embedded autonomy: states and industrial transformation. Princeton: Princeton University Press. chs. 1-3.
     

Seminar 3: Social policy under the (Post-) Washington Consensus (PML)

This session examines the main changes to social policy frameworks in Latin America since the 1990s. It explores how income-supporting policies and the provision of key goods and services have been envisioned, following the main policy frameworks since the transition to neoliberalism and from the 2000s onwards. Policies are investigated not only in terms of their expected and actual results, but also placed in the theoretical and normative underpinnings that are used to justify them. Some of the key processes this session discusses are the rise of conditional cash transfer (CCT) schemes, the expansion of education, the much more muted rise of universal social protection networks, the ‘financialisation’ of social policy, and how visions form Latin America – such as ‘living well’ – have been challenging these forms of social policy.

Key issues

  • Conditional cash transfers
  • Public education
  • Universal social protection networks
  • ‘Financialisation’ of social policy
  • Living well / sumak kawsay / buen vivir
  • (Post-) Washington Consensus

Key texts

Bibliography

Seminar 4: Philanthropy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Developemnt in Latin America (JS)

This session explores philanthropy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Latin America. We will look at ethnographic case studies of CSR and philanthropy in different corporate sectors (forestry, mining and agriculture), to examine the regional history of these global practices and how they have become entwined with development narratives and aspirations in the Latin American context. Different voices in the debates on CSR and philanthropy provide contrasting perspectives on the purposes that these practices serve, and the role they play in upholding (or challenging) broader economic structures and interests in the region. These debates also provide a framework for examining the tensions between legal requirement and voluntary practice in corporate activity in Latin America, and the evolving relationships between state, private sector and civil society in the region.

Key issues

  • Corporate social and environmental responsibility
  • The role of business in development
  • State, private sector and civil society relations
  • Wealth elites in Latin America

Key texts

Bibliography

Seminar 5: Populisms, old and new (PML)

This session explores how the idea of populism has been seen in Latin America, contrasting the ‘old’ versions of the mid-20th century to the ‘new’ versions of the early 21st century. This involves, first, a discussion of how the concept of populism, a polysemic and politically charged idea, has been mobilised across the political spectrum. Emphasis is put on how different theories define populism, particularly with regards to its alleged relationship to redistribution, popular participation, and social conflict. Second, this session explores the relationship between populism and the demands and dynamics of social movements and trade unions, focusing on recent attempts in Latin America to create deeper forms of participation (‘radical democracy’). Third, the session explores these topics through a study of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ populisms in Brazil and Argentina.

Key issues

  • Populism
  • Radical democracy
  • Neoliberalism
  • Redistributive policies
  • Popular participation in politics

Key texts

Bibliography
 

Seminar 6: Political Corruption in Latin America (DBS)

This session analyses the complex relationship between politics and corruption in Latin America. During the 1980s, most of the countries in the region established formal democracies based on competitive electoral processes. However, numerous corruption scandals have raised questions about the quality of democracy, the transparency of politics, and the legitimacy of the new market economies in the region. In this seminar, we will discuss areas, levels, and forms of corruption in both its structural and socio-cultural components. In turn, we will examine the role played by international conventions against corruption (e.g. Inter-American Convention), as well as the involvement of the state-reform process, government transparency, public opinion, media, and public and business ethics for the control of corruption.

Key issues

  • Corruption and democracy
  • Money and politics
  • Transparency and accountability
  • The role of media and civil society

Key texts