From the national-bourgeois to the associated dependency interpretation of latin America

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2009-04-13
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In the 1960s and 1970s Latin America was the setting of modernizing military coups and of the transition of their intellectuals from nationalism to associated dependency. In the 1950s two groups of public intellectuals, organized around ECLAC, in Santiago, Chile, and ISEB, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pioneer the thinking on Latin American societies and economies (including Brazil’s) from a nationalist standpoint. ECLAC mainly criticized the law of comparative advantage and its underlying imperialist implications; ISEB focused on the political definition of a national-developmentalist strategy. The idea of a national bourgeoisie was key to this interpretation of Latin America. The Cuban revolution, the economic crisis of the 1960s, and the military coups in the South Cone, however, made room for criticism of these ideas from a new interpretation – the dependency one. By fully rejecting possibility of a national bourgeoisie, two versions of the dependency interpretation (the 'associated' and the 'over-exploitation' interpretations) also rejected the possibility of a national-development strategy. Only a third one, the 'national-dependent' interpretation, continued to affirm the need for and possibility of a national bourgeoisie and a national strategy. Yet, it was the associated-dependency interpretation that was dominant in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s.


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