Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America

Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America

Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America

Authoritarianism and Corporatism in Latin America

Synopsis

Since the mid-1960s it has been apparent that authoritarian regimes are not necessarily doomed to extinction as societies modernize and develop, but are potentially viable (if unpleasant) modes of organizing a society's developmental efforts.nbsp; This realization has spurred new interest among social scientists in the phenomenon of authoritarianism and one of its variants, corporatism.

The sixteen previously unpublished essays in this volume provide a focus for the discussion of authoritarianism and corporatism by clarifying various concepts, and by pointing to directions for future research utilizing them.nbsp; The book is organized in four parts: a theoretical introduction; discussions of authoritarianism, corporatism, and the state; comparative and case studies; and conclusions and implications.nbsp; The essays discuss authoritarianism and corporatism in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Excerpt

Periodically social scientists find it necessary to rethink and reevaluate the conceptual tools they use to analyze the substantive problems of the societies they observe. During the past several years such a process of reevaluation has been going on among analysts concerned with problems of political economy in the context of Latin America. This process has been spurred on in part by the appearance in the region during the 1960s of a number of "modernizing-authoritarian" regimes and the discovery by social scientists that most of our concepts and theories were inadequate tools with which to analyze these regimes. Thus, there developed a renewed interest in "authoritarianism," both as a specific type of regime and as a political approach to the problems of economic development and modernization.

In attempting to come to grips with the phenomenon of modernizing-authoritarian regimes, many analysts began to point out that the standard theoretical frameworks applied to Latin America, while useful, did not provide sufficient help to analyze a number of crucial dimensions of the contemporary political economy of the region. Specifically, they were inadequate to analyze the important role of the state in Latin America or to deal with the complex process by which the interactions between the state and organized societal groupings have been structured and restructured over time. In approaching these issues many scholars have suggested that the concept of "corporatism" provides a more useful theoretical perspective to study the relationships between state and society in Latin America.

These intellectual developments have set off a generalized debate among Latin American specialists regarding the theoretical and conceptual perspectives through which the substantive problems of the region are approached. Increasingly the debate has centered around the question of the use or abuse of the concepts of authoritarianism and corporatism. This book tries to contribute to this debate. In my view, the debate is an important attempt to deal with crucial issues and . . .

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