Business History in Latin America: The Experience of Seven Countries

By Carlos Dávila; Rory Miller et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

This volume of essays has its roots in an invitation from Carlos Dávila to various colleagues elsewhere to participate in a panel at the annual conference of CLADEA (Consejo Latinoamericano de Escuelas de Administración) in Bogotá in November 1992. The idea was simply to bring together specialists working on business history in different countries of the region in order to compare the state of the subject and trends in research. In fact a lively panel resulted, with much discussion both within the formal sessions and in numerous conversations once the formal proceedings were over. The extent of common ground amongst the contributors and the seriousness with which they had undertaken the task of reviewing and explaining the literature on individual countries was sufficient for us to decide that it would be worth publishing revised versions of the papers in order to provide others with a sense of how the subject was developing in Latin America. To this end two more chapters, on Argentina and Chile, were commissioned, and the original essays were published in Spanish in 1996 as Empresa e historia en América Latina: un balance historiográfico (Bogotá: Tercer Mundo/Colciencias).

The purpose of this English-language edition is to bring these essays to the attention of other readers. It is intended for a number of different groups: specialists in business history elsewhere who do not possess a detailed knowledge of Latin American business or a knowledge of Spanish but who may be interested in the way the subject has developed in a region which has attracted much attention since the debt crisis of the 1980s; students who are beginning work on the subject and are looking for guidance in the form both of a historiographical commentary and a detailed bibliography; and Latin American specialists in other branches of history and the social sciences who have little acquaintance with the history of business in the region. In comparison with the Spanish-language edition, this one has a totally new introduction, the chapters have been updated in order to encompass items published to the end of 1997, and the bibliography has been expanded.

This English-language edition would not have been possible without either the earlier editorial work undertaken in Bogotá or the support offered by the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), University of Liverpool, and in particular its director, Professor John Fisher. ILAS subsidised the

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