Latin America / Edition 1

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This innovative contribution to comparative area studies evaluates Latin America's distinctiveness, and shows how "large regions" can be compared. The overwhelming impact of Europe followed by precocious independence produced an exceptional outward orientation, which has prompted successive waves of reform "from above and without," often resisted and superseded rather than fully assimilated. This book explores the resulting patterns that can be observed in multiple domains, through the optic of a "mausoleum of modernity." By applying this perspective to state organization, the politics of expertise, privatization, poverty and inequality, and citizenship insecurity, it generates an overall new interpretation of Latin America's regional distinctiveness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Taken as a whole, these essays provide both bold summary assessments of continent-wide trends and well-grounded analyses of central issues such as privatization and citizen security in specific countries; all of them are thought-provoking and suggestive.”--Jonathan Hartlyn, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Whitehead has a knowledge of Latin America that is remarkably both extensive and deep. Combined with an acute theoretical mind, he has written a most interesting and innovative interpretation of this region, which deserves close reading and widespread attention.”--Guillermo O'Donnell, Kellogg Professor of Government, University of Notre Dame

“Laurence Whitehead's fine achievement consists in exploring complex hemispheric relations in the context of transformative global landscapes. These essays take an ingenious, interdisciplinary approach to inter-regional issues, bringing the cultural imagination to bear on economic and political realities. Whitehead's insights into the progress and perils of democratic citizenship are particularly important for the times of insecurity and fear in which we live today.”--Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F.Rothenberg Professor of English, Director of the Harvard Humanities Center, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403971319
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Series: Studies of the Americas Series
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurence Whitehead is Official Fellow in Politics and Acting Warden of Nuffield College, the University of Oxford, U.K.


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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

Acronyms xi

Introduction: Latin America in Comparative Perspective 1

I Introduction 1

II Latin America Compared to Other Large World Regions 3

III Latin America and Europe 8

IV Configurative Characteristics 10

V Themes and Organization 18

Chapter 1 Latin America as a "Mausoleum of Modernities" 23

I Introduction 23

II Latin America's Distinctive Relation to "Modernity" 27

III Successive Waves of "Modernity" in Latin America 35

IV The Littered Landscape 44

V How Durable A Break with the Past? 53

VI Conclusion: Reflections on Multiple Modernities 66

Chapter 2 Latin American State Organization 71

I Introduction 71

II Territorial Control 85

III Administration 93

IV "Cognitive" Capacity 98

V Command Over Resources 105

VI Postscript on Citizenship 116

VII Conclusion 117

Chapter 3 The Politics of Expertise 121

I Introduction 121

II Antecedents 125

III Actualities 128

IV Conclusion 137

Chapter 4 Economics in Mexico: The Power of Ideas and Ideas of Power 141

I Introduction 141

II Origins of the Profession 142

III The Rise of the Economic Technocrats 144

IV Comparisons 148

V The Profession 150

VI The "NeoLiberal" Ascendancy 154

VII External Derivations 157

VIII The Authoritarian Style 160

IX Performance 162

X Conclusion: The Prospects 164

Chapter 5 Privatization and the Public Interest: Partial Theories, Lopsided Outcomes 169

I Introduction 169

II "Privatization" and "The Public Interest" 172

III Alternative Styles of Privatization: Timing and Sequencing 180

IV The Contemporary Scene: Momentum and Resistance 186

V Lopsided Theories 189

VIConclusion: Partial Outcomes 198

Chapter 6 Democracy, Inequality, and Insecurity: Three Sources of Contestation 203

I Introduction 203

II Inequality and Social Injustice 205

III Democracy and Insecurity 217

IV Conclusions 226

Conclusion: On Characterizing Latin America 233

Notes 251

Bibliography 285

Index 301

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