Neoliberalism in Latin America

By Goslinga, Marian | Hemisphere, Spring 1998 | Go to article overview

Neoliberalism in Latin America


Goslinga, Marian, Hemisphere


Neoliberalism has been the dominant ideology governing Latin American economics, politics and society in the latter part of the twentieth century. Yet, as most sources agree, the neoliberal model has lost support or, at the very least, been subtly modified by the social realities of the hemisphere.

Some of the larger countries in the region, including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, have been experimenting with their own brands of neoliberalism and have, as the literature will testify, found a fairly successful formula. Smaller countries, such as Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay, have also developed their own versions of neoliberal strategies.

The following is a list of titles dealing with neoliberalism--including monographs and periodical articles--published within the last few years. Many of these works focus on the controversial relationship between neoliberalism and democracy. Economic reforms have strained newly elected democratic governments across Latin America, severely testing the viability of the neoliberal doctrine.

A good source of articles on this topic is volume 24, number I of Latin American Perspectives (January 1997), which is devoted in its entirety to a discussion of neoliberalism.

El neoliberalismo hoy: debate y realidades. Revista Economia Informa (March 1997): 3-53. [Presents various viewpoints on neoliberal economic theory and practice and its effects, with a specific focus on Mexico. Includes a selected bibliography.]

Social Power and the Inflation of Discourse: The Failure of Popular Hegemony in Nicaragua. B.L. Artz. Latin American Perspectives, v. 24, no. 1 (January 1997): 92-113. [Criticizes poststructuralism and the idea of the "end of ideology" in the works of Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe and leading Nicaraguan theorists.]

Neoliberalism and Income Distribution in "tin America. W. Baer, W. Maloney. World Development, v. 25, no. 3 (March 1997): 311-327. [Reviews the principal neoliberal policy measures instituted in Latin America in the last decade and their impact on economic inequality.]

The Reconquest of Central America: Latin American Studies and the Transition to Democracy, 1979-1990. M.T. Berger. Latin American Perspectives, v. 24, no. 1 (January 1997): 7-72. [An effort to trace the relationship between the Latin American Studies profession, United States hegemony and neoliberalism's resurgence in Latin America. Includes an extensive bibliography.]

Can Neoliberalism Survive in Latin America? G. Bird, A. Helvege. Millennium, v. 26, no. 1 (1997): 31-56. [Investigates the factors leading to the adoption of neoliberal policies and identifies the threats to their continued implementation. Predicts that the interaction between balance of payments problems, income distribution and economic growth will create significant difficulties for Latin American economies over the next few years, and that neoliberalism, if it is to survive, must address key issues such as the role of the state.]

Nicaragua and Guyana: Conflicts and Reforms. F.J. Carroll. Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy, v. 12 (Spring 1997): 79-86.

Tilting at Neoliberalism. L. Conger. The Institutional Investor, v. 31, no. 5 (May 1997): 91-103. [A group of Latin American leftists gather in Mexico City in February 1996, claiming to have a: better alternative to the economic model that has dominated the region during the last decade.]

Neoliberalismo, dialogos y otros temas. Jose Consuegra Higgins. Barranquilla, Colombia: Universidad Simon Bolivar, 1996. 107 pp.

Haiti in the New World Order: The Limits of the Democratic Revolution. Alex Dupuy. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997. 220 pp. [Includes a chapter entitled, "A Neoliberal Model for Post-Duvalier Haiti."]

Shipwreck and Survival: The Left in Central America. C. Figueroa Ibarra. Translated by John F. Uggen. Latin American Perspectives, v. 24 (January 1997): 114-129. [Guatemalan sociologist analyzes the results of neoliberal policies on the Central American left. …

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