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Political Science
POLI 319
Philip Oxhorn

• Latin America in the news • vicious circle : Lula, women presidents (Chile), midnight coups, ups and downs 1.who counts? 2.democracy? 3.citizen? Why study ? (rich contrasts : wealth, racial mixes- who counts and who doesn't, types of governments - hybrid regimes, modern military, all kinds of governments, rich ground for comparison- natural lab to see what works and what doesn't) Latin America's common characteristics : extreme levels of inequality 1.former colonies gained independence in early 19th c. : colonial legacy, on their own for a long time. 2.largely Catholic : no religious diversity, affects politics and identities and how people look at the world 3.subordinate position in international economy: eco prosperity largely dependent on whats happening outside the country, dy amiss that explain eco prosperity determined by factors outside of the most unequal societies in the world : Latin Americans the first identity. Inequality and injustice have real consequences 5.historical lack of consensus, problems of legitimacy and pol instability : pol problems festered due to no common solution. Can a possibility of consensus lead to a solution ? 1960s and 70s : Progress and Modernization (how much changes and how much remains the same) 1.5-6% growth per year : GDP per capita doubles. A substantial change. 2.ECLA : great occupational , geographic, education, and social mobility. Increased equality in lives of people (urbanization). 3.massive urban migration due to greater eco opportunities 4.upward social mobility of 26% of the population 5.tended to affect young people : gives people hope, when people move to cities, they send their kids to school . Young people had a prospects of continued social rise. Real, positive change : giving hope to everybody • Contradictions and strains in parallel to this period of growth and progress 1.population in poverty 35%, down from 50% 2.actual number of poor people increased by 16% in 70s • The Model : Mass Consumption Societies (Raul Prebisch) of social pyramid : vicious cycle limits employment creation because the big chunk of wealth is used to feed lifestyles of rich, creating jobs in other parts of the world the bottom : induced poverty (poor strive, spend limited resources on basic needs, restricted choices) . Decisions people make ensuring enterntainment but costs their life's quality 3.increased demands on the state and the beginnings of the debt crisis : most people wanted state to address the problem. States spend more money, growing level of state debt, debt crisis in the following decade. The lost decade of the 80s : 1.GDP declined by 8.1%, 1980-89 : global decline in income, affected poor the most. Problems
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