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Contemporary Latin America

Contemporary Latin America

Francisco Panizza


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Latin America has changed dramatically over the past few years. While the 1990s were dominated by the politically orthodoxy of the Washington Consensus and the political uniformity of centre right governments the first decade of the new century is being characterised by the emergence of a plurality of economic and political alternatives. In an overview of the history of the region over the past twenty-five years this book traces the intellectual and political origins of the Washington Consensus, assesses its impact on democracy and economic development and discusses whether the emergence of a variety of left-wing governments in the region represents a clear break with the politics and policies of the Washington Consensus. Clearly written and rigorously argued the book will be of interest to academics, students of Latin American politics and anybody interested in understanding contemporary Latin America.
Francisco Panizza is Senior Lecturer in Latin American Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and studied politics in Brazil and England. He has taught in universities in Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico and England where he lives since 1979. His research interests are populism, democracy, and the politics of economic reform. He combines his academic career with consultancy and journalism. He is a frequent contributor to the BBC, Bloomberg TV and several Latin American newspaper and radio networks.
'An intelligent, up-to-date and accessible account of the contemporary political economy of Latin America from one of the leading scholars on the region. Francisco Panizza weaves together a compelling narrative around the emergence of left of centre governments in the context of the troubled engagement between democracy and the market in the region. It is a significant contribution to debates about how we understand and label Latin America's new left and deserves to be very widely read.' Jean Grugel, University of Sheffield 'Francisco Panizza has long been an astute observer of democratisation, political economy and ideological change in Latin America. As the post-neoliberal landscape has slowly come into focus in the current decade, what we have lacked is an integrated perspective on the full range of interactions between models of development and democratic sustainability in the region. In Contemporary Latin America, Panizza gives us a complete cyclical analysis of the so-called Washington Consensus: before, during and after. This insightful contribution carefully traces the diverse political reactions to the neoliberal agenda, uncovering the causal factors behind populist, reformist and left-wing responses to developmental change.' Timothy Power, University of Oxford 'This book is an authoritative, nuanced, and comprehensive treatment of the major economic and political developments in Latin America over the last three decades. Analyzing regional trends for over three decades, it is impressive in its reach as well as depth of coverage. Panizza brings much perspective and balance to bear on some of the most contentious issues facing Latin America in contemporary times.' Wendy Hunter, University of Texas

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
About the author i
Introduction 1
1 | Paradigm found: in search of the Washington Consensus 9
What was the Washington Consensus? 9
The historical roots of the free market reformation 14
Democratization, economic crisis and economic reform 17
Political order, economic crises and the new economic narrative 22
Conclusion 29
2 | The organic intellectuals of the Washington Consensus 31
The power of international financial institutions 31
The changing role of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund 33
Imposition, persuasion and consent 36
The limits and impact of the IMF’s and the WB’s policy prescriptions 44
Conclusion 49
3 | The ascent of free market economics: an economic reformation with popular support? 51
Presidential mandates and the politics of reform 52
The institutional underpinnings of free market reforms 55
The role of interests in processes of reform 58
Sources of popular support for the reforms 63
New relations between the state and society 66
Conclusion 71
4 | Democracy and its promises 73
The rebirth of democracy 75
The new democratic compact 78
Civil society, political parties, the left and the return to democracy 82
The new liberal democratic culture 86
The underside of democracy 89
Conclusions 96
5 | Democracy and markets: contestation and consent 98
Democracy, conflict and accommodation 98
The weakening of contestation from below 102
The mediating role of political institutions 108
Conclusions 117
6 | Paradigm lost: the unravelling of the Washington Consensus 121
The Miami consensus and the Tequila crisis 121
The Washington Consensus reassessed: the view from within 124
The social question and the halt in economic growth 129
The case of Argentina 133
The blame game 136
Conclusions 140
7 | The opening of a paradigm: growth, equity and democracy 142
A changing paradigm 143
The intellectual roots of the PWC 145
The World Bank’s and the International Monetary Fund’s new approaches to development 148
New wine in old bottles? 154
The reframing of development: ECLAC and the IADB 158
The politics of the new development agenda 161
Conclusions 163
8 | The rise of the left 168
A change in Latin America’s political landscape? 168
The social democratic, populist and grassroots lefts 170
The rise of the left 178
Democracy, representation and varieties of the left 185
Table 8.1 Forms of political representation 193
Conclusions 194
9 | Left governments and the deepening of democracy 197
Democratizing democracy 197
Chávez’s Venezuela: the politics of polarization 200
Lula da Silva’s Brazil: the politics of accommodation 211
Comparing Venezuela and Brazil 219
Conclusions 222
10 | Left governments, economic constraints and policy choices 225
International and domestic constraints 225
Ideas, interests and policy choices 228
Brazil: keeping the confidence of the markets and the support of the people 232
The return of the repressed: national-popular politics and policies 241
Conclusions 247
Conclusions 250
Notes 256
Notes to chapter 1 256
Notes to chapter 2 256
Notes to chapter 3 257
Notes to chapter 4 258
Notes to chapter 5 258
Notes to chapter 6 259
Notes to chapter 7 260
Notes to chapter 8 262
Notes to chapter 9 264
Notes to chapter 10 265
Bibliography 267
Index 295