• Latin America in the news
• vicious circle : Lula, women presidents (Chile), midnight coups, ups and
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
4.one 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
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)
1.top 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
2.at 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