Latin America: Development and Conflict since 1945

Latin America: Development and Conflict since 1945

Latin America: Development and Conflict since 1945

Latin America: Development and Conflict since 1945

Synopsis

Bringing the story up-to-date, this expanded new edition takes into account recent developments including Argentina's 2001 debt default and the 2002 presidential election in Brazil. Latin America provides an introduction to the economic and political history of the region in the last half century.Beginning with a brief history of Latin America since 1492, John Ward discusses the interactions between economic, political and social issues. The discussions includes:* the long-term background to the 1980s debt crisis* the effects of neo-liberal free market reforms* relations with the United States and the wider world* welfare provision in relation to wider economic issues* social trends as reflected by changes in the status of women* globalization and environmental debates* comparisons with the more dynamic East Asian economies.Also including biographies of the leading figures of the period and an expanded bibliography, it will provide central reading to Latin American history students, researchers and the interested general reader.

Excerpt

We begin by putting the Latin American development record since 1945 in longer term and international context, noting also the experience of particular countries (Tables 1.2, 2.2). Latin America as a whole achieved quite rapid growth in output per head from the 1940s until the early 1980s, followed by a severe recession and a weak recovery, halted in 2001-2. the comparatively strong Latin American performance in the 1940s was due, above all, to the market opportunities created for the region's exports by the Second World War and post-war reconstruction, at a time when military conflict limited productive capacity elsewhere. During the 1950-80 period Latin America's growth rate closely matched the developing country average, running a little below East Asia's and the Middle East's, but above Sub-Saharan Africa's and South Asia's. At this stage, the Latin American disadvantage relative to East Asia is fully accounted for by the latter region's scope for post-war recovery in the 1950s and, after 1960, by the exceptional dynamism of the NICs (represented in Table 2.1 by South Korea). For the time being, most other East Asian countries still pursued versions of isi and had economic growth similar to Latin America's.

Among the major Latin American countries there were significant differences in economic performance between 1950 and 1980. Argentina and Chile showed the least vigour while Brazil had the highest long-term growth average. Considerable changes have occurred in Latin American economic structure (Table 2.2). the relative importance of industry grew rapidly from the 1930s, a trend that slowed after 1960, and was reversed after 1980. Exports' share of regional output declined after 1930, and made a very slight recovery after 1970, with a modest increase in the contribution coming from manufactured goods. in South Korea, representing the nic experience, rapid industrialization did not begin until the 1950s. It was

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