Economic Crises and Democracy in Latin America
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Cover, Title Page, Copyright
I have incurred many debts and am grateful to many individuals and institutions for their support in helping me bring this work to completion. Heartfelt thanks for a good everyday working spirit to Riordan Roett and my other colleagues in the Latin American Studies Program...
INTRODUCTION: Institutions, Interests, and Ideas in Explaining Regime Change
The “creative destruction”1 brought about by financial shocks and economic crises, although a means through which capitalism reinvigorates itself periodically, is both unsettling and challenging politically.2 This is true regardless of the type of political regime in place when a country finds itself in the throes of...
1. Financial Shocks, Economic Crises, and Democracy: Theory and Practice
Financial shocks and economic crises can be studied from different scholarly perspectives and the choice of methodology helps to define the types of questions and the level of detail contained in any analysis. I deploy a comparative historical analysis based on middle- range generalizations, which are anchored...
PART I: Great Depression, 1929–34
2. Economic Crisis and Democracy during the Great Depression
While the earth- shattering events of the Great Depression form the basis for my examination of the effects of financial shocks and economic crises on democracy in the Southern Cone countries, it’s useful to take a brief look at what was happening before then...
3. Institutions: Polarized Domestic Conflicts and Weak International Capacity
When the 1929 financial crisis struck, Chile was ruled by an authoritarian regime under Colonel/General Carlos Ibáñez (1927– 31),1 while Argentina and Uruguay were ruled by democratic regimes since 1916 and 1918, respectively. The inability of these governments to cope with the severity of the...
4. Interests: Foreign Capital and Domestic Coalitions against Democracy
The second factor to examine is the way international and domestic interests raised or lowered the likelihood that actors organized and exercised pressures in favor of and against democracy during the Great Depression in the Southern Cone countries. My comparative historical...
5. Ideas: Extreme Ideological Conflict and Rise of the State in the Economy
Let us now turn to the third of my three pillars— political ideologies and economic ideas and policy— to ascertain how they affected the costs of organizing and exercising pressures for and against democracy in the Southern Cone countries during the Great...
PART II: Economic Crises and Democracy in the Late Twentieth Century
6. 1982 Debt Crisis and 1997–2002 Emerging Markets Crises
The Bretton Woods system delivered relative international financial stability between the aftermath of the Second World War and 1971. The system’s anchor was pegging member countries’ currencies to the US dollar, which was credible, given the free convertibility of dollars...
7. Institutions: Demise of Military-as-Government and Higher Costs for Action
The Great Depression led to the breakdown of the existing regimes in the three Southern Cone countries. What was different about the situation in and effects of the 1982 and 1997– 2002 crises that allowed democracy to eventually...
8. Interests: Capital Flight, Pressures from Below, and Democracy
In analyzing the relative costs of pressures in favor of and against democracy, a key change in international and domestic interests in the Southern Cone countries led to mixed outcomes, particularly given the different fate of pressures from below in Chile during the external debt...
9. Ideas: Cold War Endgame, Unipolar Moment, and Neoliberalism
Just as the rise in liquid- based wealth since the 1970s– 80s has helped to lower the pressure against democracy by foreign and domestic capitalists, changes in the realm of ideas— political ideologies, and economic ideas and policy— since the Cold War ended have reduced the stakes...
Conclusion: Implications for Democracy after the 2008–9 Financial Meltdown
The proliferation of analyses, speeches, and news reports using the Great Depression as a point of reference in understanding the magnitude and potential destruction that the financial global busts of 2008– 9 (the Great Recession) might have led to should not surprise anyone...
Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 4 graphs
Publication Year: 2012
OCLC Number: 799989256
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Creative Destruction?