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Latin American Development: What About the State, Conflict and Power?

Emilia Ormaechea

Journal of Economic Issues, 2020, vol. 54, issue 2, 322-328

Abstract: Several authors have raised the similarities between Latin American structuralism and economic institutionalism, pointing out the possibilities of reciprocal enrichment between both approaches but highlighting, at the same time, the mutual ignorance between them. However, the eventual interaction between these theories was hampered by the advent of the neoclassical—and neoliberal—offensive, and the displacement of Latin American contributions, both in its structuralist and dependency variants. The replacement of these contributions by the neo-structuralist approach implied a displacement of the characteristics of original structuralism, associated with the conception of central-peripheral economies, and the central role of the state for Latin American development. These displacements, I argue, limited the possibility of finding the means to achieve the so-called social transformation, to which institutionalists and structuralists referred. The present article tries, on the one hand, to critically analyze the neo-structuralist discourse, evaluating how these displacements affect the possibility of proposing a structural transformation in Latin America (led by the state). On the other hand, it seeks to recover the dimensions associated with power, conflict and the centrality of the state to rethink the challenges of structural transformation, from which articulations between structuralism and institutionalism could be proposed.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00213624.2020.1742068

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