Latin America, Its Problems and Its Promise: A Multidisciplinary Introduction

By Jan Knippers Black | Go to book overview

integration movement offers a notable contrast to the various experiments that characterized the 1960s: the Central American Common Market (CACM), the Latin American Free Trade Agreement (LAFTA), the Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA), and the Andean Pact, all of which petered out after their initial momentum -- victims of economic nationalism, contradictory policies, feckless bureaucrats, and faulty design. Today, the Mercosur (which groups Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay) has emerged as the largest and most successful example of regional economic cooperation in the Third World, and the NAFTA, for all its stresses and strains, represents a boldly unique attempt to meld economies more disparate than any of those brought together in the European Union. 20

There are, to be sure, a number of troubling accounts payable still remaining on the national ledger sheets: what has come to be called the social deficit. Environmental conditions have deteriorated over much of the continent, and the cities have patently exceeded the carrying capacity of their infrastructure, with consequent decay in the living conditions of all who dwell therein, even the rich, whose walled compounds nevertheless admit increasingly polluted air and who must from time to time sally forth to confront growing congestion and social disorder. 21

Huge numbers of people and much of the rural sector have been left on the sidelines in the sweeping renovation effort, and the disparities among regions and income classes are greater than ever before. 22 Compared with the high-performance Asian economies, the most unequal Asian income distributions are more equitable than the least unequal of the Latin American cases. And the people Columbus encountered on his voyages live still in a state of economic and cultural anorexia, as powerless politically as they are deprived of assets and purchasing power in the economic arena. 23

Much remains to be done, in other words, to make the current national projects credible as a path for general progress. 24 But it is hard to escape the conclusion that for all its ills, Latin America has more resources today than it has ever had before to enlist in the needed cleanup and social rectification efforts, which cannot be postponed much beyond the close of this millennium, and more social capability and institutional capacity as well. Considering that these assets, too, are products of development, albeit nonmeasured public-goods components that are not conventionally reckoned in the national accounts, and considering as well that these contribute importantly to the future capacity to produce, one could reasonably conclude that the recorded growth figures for much of this century, high as they have been, have actually understated the rate of change -- though a full and balanced accounting would have to tally the accumulated social costs as a major offset to this record of achievement. Perhaps only the outcomes in the next century will enable us to judge with some assurance of accuracy the net asset or liability position.


NOTES
1
The World Bank groups the economies into four categories. Low-income countries are found mostly in Africa and Asia and include the majority of the world's population. Most of

-156-

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Latin America, Its Problems and Its Promise: A Multidisciplinary Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • MAPS, TABLES, FIGURES, AND ILLUSTRATIONS xi
  • I - INTRODUCTION: THE EVOLUTION OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES 1
  • Notes 16
  • PART ONE - THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE 19
  • 2 - PHYSICAL LANDSCAPE AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS 21
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 39
  • 3 - THE INDIAN POPULATIONS OF LATIN AMERICA 40
  • Notes 53
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 54
  • PART TWO - HISTORICAL SETTING 57
  • 4 - COLONIAL LATIN AMERICA 59
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 67
  • 5 - THE CONTINUITY OF THE NATIONAL PERIOD 69
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 86
  • PART THREE - CULTURAL EXPRESSION 89
  • 6 - PHILOSOPHY AND THE INTELLECTUAL TRADITION 91
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 101
  • 7 - LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE 104
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 121
  • 8 - NATIONALISM AND MODERN LATIN AMERICAN ART 124
  • Notes 137
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 137
  • PART FOUR - ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL STRUCTURES 143
  • 9 - THE LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIES RESTRUCTURE, AGAIN 145
  • Notes 156
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 159
  • 10 - SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND CHANGE IN LATIN AMERICA 162
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 179
  • 11 - NATURE IN LATIN AMERICA: IMAGES AND ISSUES 181
  • Notes 196
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 199
  • PART FIVE - POLITICAL PROCESSES AND TRENDS 201
  • 12 - PARTICIPATION AND POLITICAL PROCESS: THE COLLAPSIBLE PYRAMID 203
  • Notes 229
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 230
  • 13 - THE POLITICS OF INSECURITY 232
  • Notes 249
  • PART SIX - EXTERNAL RELATIONS 255
  • 14 - INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA: CONFLICT AND COOPERATIONS 257
  • Notes 270
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 271
  • 15 - THE UNITED STATES AND LATIN AMERICA: INTO A NEW ERA 273
  • Notes 293
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 295
  • 16 - LATIN AMERICA IN THE WORLD 296
  • Notes 309
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 311
  • PART SEVEN - MEXICO 315
  • 17 - MEXICO: HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS 317
  • Notes 336
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 336
  • 18 - MEXICO: THE PERMANENT CRISIS 338
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 347
  • PART EIGHT - CENTRAL AMERICA AND PANAMA 349
  • 19 - CENTRAL AMERICA: BACKGROUND TO THE CRISIS 351
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 378
  • 20 - CENTRAL AMERICA: FROM REVOLUTION TO NEOLIBERAL "REFORM" 380
  • Notes 394
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 396
  • 21 - PANAMA AND THE CANAL 397
  • Notes 408
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 409
  • PART NINE - CUBA AND THE CARIBBEAN 411
  • 22 - THE CUBAN REVOLUTION 413
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 435
  • 23 - THE CARIBBEAN: THE STRUCTURE OF MODERN-CONSERVATIVE SOCIETIES 436
  • Notes 451
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 452
  • PART TEN - THE ANDES 453
  • 24 - VENEZUELA, COLOMBIA, AND ECUADOR 455
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 473
  • 25 - PERU AND BOLIVIA 475
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 493
  • PART ELEVEN - THE SOUTHERN CONE 495
  • 26 - CHILE: THE DEVELOPMENT, BREAKDOWN, AND RECOVERY OF DEMOCRACY 497
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 534
  • 27 - ARGENTINA: DECLINE AND REVIVAL 536
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 549
  • 28 - URUGUAY AND PARAGUAY: AN ARDUOUS TRANSITION 551
  • Notes 571
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 572
  • PART TWELVE - BRAZIL 575
  • 29 - BRAZIL: FROM INDEPENDENCE TO 1964 577
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 589
  • 30 - BRAZIL: MILITOCRACY AND FRUSTRATED DEMOCRATIZATION 591
  • Notes 604
  • SUGGESTED READINGS 605
  • 31 - CONCLUSION: AN INTEGRATED NEIGHBORHOOD 607
  • Notes 618
  • ABOUT THE BOOK AND EDITOR 619
  • ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS 621
  • Index 627
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