£18.99 | $34.95

11 June 2009
ISBN: 9781842778548
320 pages
216mm x 138mm
Latin America

Economics, International Relations, Latin America, Politics

Also available as Hardback, Ebook

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Contemporary Latin America

Development and Democracy beyond the Washington Consensus

Francisco Panizza

Latin America has changed dramatically over the past few years. While the 1990s were dominated by the politically orthodoxy of the Washington Consensus and the political uniformity of centre right governments the first decade of the new century is being characterised by the emergence of a plurality of economic and political alternatives.

In an overview of the history of the region over the past twenty-five years this book traces the intellectual and political origins of the Washington Consensus, assesses its impact on democracy and economic development and discusses whether the emergence of a variety of left-wing governments in the region represents a clear break with the politics and policies of the Washington Consensus. Clearly written and rigorously argued the book will be of interest to academics, students of Latin American politics and anybody interested in understanding contemporary Latin America.


'An intelligent, up-to-date and accessible account of the contemporary political economy of Latin America from one of the leading scholars on the region. Francisco Panizza weaves together a compelling narrative around the emergence of left of centre governments in the context of the troubled engagement between democracy and the market in the region. It is a significant contribution to debates about how we understand and label Latin America's new left and deserves to be very widely read.' - Jean Grugel, Professor for Politics at the University of Sheffield

'Francisco Panizza has long been an astute observer of democratisation, political economy and ideological change in Latin America. As the post-neoliberal landscape has slowly come into focus in the current decade, what we have lacked is an integrated perspective on the full range of interactions between models of development and democratic sustainability in the region. In Contemporary Latin America, Panizza gives us a complete cyclical analysis of the so-called Washington Consensus: before, during and after. This insightful contribution carefully traces the diverse political reactions to the neoliberal agenda, uncovering the causal factors behind populist, reformist and left-wing responses to developmental change.' - Timothy Power, University of Oxford

'This book is an authoritative, nuanced, and comprehensive treatment of the major economic and political developments in Latin America over the last three decades. Analyzing regional trends for over three decades, it is impressive in its reach as well as depth of coverage. Panizza brings much perspective and balance to bear on some of the most contentious issues facing Latin America in contemporary times.' - Wendy Hunter, University of Texas

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Paradigm Found
3. The Organic Intellectuals of the Washington Consensus
4. The Ascent of Free Market Economics
5. The Promises of Democracy
6. The Underside of Democracy
7. Paradigm Lost: The Unravelling of the Washington Consensus
8. The Post-Washington Consensus and the Search for Alternatives
9. Varieties of the Left (I): A Latin American Social Democracy?
10. Varieties of the Left (II): The National Popular Alternative
11. Conclusions

About the Author:

Francisco Panizza is Senior Lecturer in Latin American Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and studied politics in Brazil and England. He has taught in universities in Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico and England where he lives since 1979. His research interests are populism, democracy, and the politics of economic reform. He combines his academic career with consultancy and journalism. He is a frequent contributor to the BBC, Bloomberg TV and several Latin American newspaper and radio networks.