Even though most Latin American countries gained independence much earlier than other former colonies, the region’s economic development in the last century has been marked decisively by the specter of international economic dependence and by a variety of policy e orts to overcome this dependence. This chapter discusses the evolution and the politics of Latin American trade and capital ows and the relations between Latin American countries and international development institutions in recent decades. This overview suggests that despite some genuine progress in promoting domestic industrial development, many countries in the region continue their traditional reliance on primary commodity exports and foreign nancial capital. The cyclical nature of commodity prices and international capital ows, which in the Latin American context is reinforced by the shifting power balance between social actors with di erent international policy preferences, has contributed to a series of dramatic swings in nature of the region’s engagement with international markets as well as the international development institutions. As this chapter illustrates, much of Latin America’s international political economy has uctuated between periods of rapid growth fueled by commodity export booms and often excessive capital in ows and buttressed by generally harmonious relations with foreign investors and international nancial institutions, and periods of painful recessions, whose depth and length were exacerbated by capital ight and were often punctuated by acrimonious relations with international creditors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)