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Carlos M. Vilas

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Latin America and the New World Order

This article details the growing marginalization of Latin America in the world economy in the 1990s. The region had embarked on a scheme of moderate growth with low salaries, high capital profitability, and social exclusion, in a context of broad trade and financial opening as well as growing foreign debt. Most of Latin America’s countries had experienced profound changes in the social foundations of their states and in the effectiveness of civil rights. Beyond shrinking its size through privatization and deregulation, the state redirected its intervention toward the promotion of the entrepreneurial elites most closely linked to the economy’s transnationalized sectors, while abandoning or underrating, and therefore devoting even fewer resources to, the creation of conditions that might permit the rest of society to become part of the new stage, or to defend itself from its most deleterious effects. However, Latin America’s growing globalization of production and trade today makes it possible for internationalism to become an effective ingredient in social struggles for a more dignified way of life. Latin America will be able to face current challenges insofar as it converts dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs into the formulation of strategies and a horizon of more social justice, in keeping with the principle of adapting to the changing dynamic of the international market.

Latin America — economy, democratization, government, citizenship, civil society, economic conditions, neo-liberalism, capitalism, economic policy, economics and politics

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2 (1996): 293-302

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