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Challenges for Latin America

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Hanover A
  • Chair: Ignacio Ramirez Cisneros, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Industrialization and Structural Change of the Periphery in the Global World

Margarita Olivera
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


After the worldwide consolidation of the neoliberal ideas in the early 1990s the space for industrial policy in underdeveloped countries has been extremely cut from their economic policy agenda. Developed countries, especially the United States, have placed at the centre of the international negotiations the liberalization not only of commodities but, especially, of capital, regardless of its use. With the increasing importance of both financial institutions and global (regional) value chains managed by Transnational Corporations (TNCs), the main aim was to minimize the transaction costs for the internationalization of production in order to guarantee their profitability on the international scale. According to their view the main way to achieve development is through free trade and the participation in Global Value Chains.
The WTO (World Trade Organization) has been functional to this aim, although with a view to achieving a global consensus on free trade, some issues had been pulled out of the negotiations. This create some space for industrial policies, that is, what Alice Amsden (2002) labelled as “hidden protectionism”. Through public procurement, government contracts, promotion of technology and applied sciences, some developing countries like China and India have achieved a high level of industrialization. Since the 2000s, the rise of China and the failure of the international negotiations within the WTO to eliminate this protectionist measures have brought about a strong reaction from TNCs. In this regard, developed countries, on behalf of the TNCs, have been promoting free-trade agreements that go well beyond the WTO’s formal regulations, the so-called WTO-plus and WTO-extra free-trade agreements.
The main aim of this paper is to discuss the possibilities for industrial development in developing countries, especially in Latin America, with a view to stressing the constraint imposed by the current system of rules that regulates international trade.

The Second Neoliberal Counter-Revolution: Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador

Eugenia Correa
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Wesley Marshall
Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM)-Iztapalapa


After more than 20 years of neoliberal policies (1980s and 1990s), some South American countries promoted important economic policies and a social and institutional reconstruction outside of the reach of IMF - led Washington Consensus policies. Although their advances were diverse in scope and impact, in all cases there was a clear improvement in the living conditions of the population. In the very short term, and through different paths, those who defend the interests behind neoliberal policies regained political power. However, this time neoliberal regimes are much less representative of domestic interests. Detached from the social commitments of the previous governments, they are carrying out neoliberal agendas and rapidly restoring or creating new ways of financializing rents. In this paper we review the trajectories of the neoliberal revolutions in Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina. Although this paper will not cover the entire universe of countries in the South that undertook policies of greater national sovereignty, these are emblematic cases. In a very short term and with relatively low social resistance, they dismantled the progress of recent years and are laying the path for profound neoliberal changes, with far-reaching social and political consequences. Recent regional and international history, particularly with an emphasis on the ebbs and flows of financialization, is a key for this paper's examination of the second neoliberal counter-revolution in South America.
Alejandro Garay-Huaman
Bucknell University
Devika Dutt
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
JEL Classifications
  • O1 - Economic Development
  • B5 - Current Heterodox Approaches