Term Paper: Latin America's Problems Owe

Pages: 5 (1493 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - Latin-American  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Now on to the definitions of the eight terms:

Caudillism. As we have seen, caudillo is the term used to refer to any leader whose power was not necessarily-based within, or on, an institutional framework, but rather on personal charisma, violence and patron-client relations. Examples of caudillos include Juan Vicente G. mez of Venezuela who ruled from 1908 to 1935, Juan Manuel de Rosas of Argentina, Andres Santa Cruz of Bolivia, and Francisco Solano L. pez of Paraguay. Caudillismo refers to the quality of being a caudillo i.e., of governing by rule, without the support of a political framework.

Liberalism. This is one side of the political coin that is commonly used to characterize Latin American politics i.e., liberalism vs. conservatism. Traditionally, politicians in Latin America have been divided into federalists (those that supported the government sharing its power between the main city and the regions, i.e., a 'conservative' political opinion), and unitarios ('liberals': those who supported the idea of a strong centralist government divided into executive, legislative and judicial branches).

The Export Boom. Many Latin American economies are export-economies, which are geared towards the production of resources for export. As the goods that are produced for export are usually limited in scope, for example raw materials, and primary goods (e.g., coffee, nitrates etc.), this leaves these countries open to the vagaries of the world economy, which leads to unpredictable boom-bust cycles (Williamson, 1992; p281). The economies of these export-economy countries therefore do fine during boom years, but are devastated during bust years (for example, the great Brazilian coffee tragedy).

Neocolonialism. This is a term used to describe colonialism in the post-colonial age (www.wikipedia.com) i.e., for Latin America, the rise of British and North American interests, and exploitation following the demise of the Spanish colonialists.

Import Substitution Industrialization is the term used to refer to a strategy for economic development that is based on replacing imports with domestic production. Many Latin American scholars argue that this will be the only way out of the current crisis for many Latin American countries, in terms of job production, subsidizing the economies and producing the capacity for within-country income-generation, so that countries need no longer rely on foreign aid (and consequent crippling debt).

Populism refers to the style of politics that led to the rise of popular figures in government, and the concurrent inclusion of workers and capitalists within broad multi-class political coalitions that backed social reform and state-nurtured industrialization (http://www.iir.ubc.ca/pwiasconferences/threatstodemocracy/abstractspapers/roberts.pdf).

Bureaucratic Authoritarianism refers to a new style of military dictatorship (Encyclopedia Britannica). It reflected the 20th-century Latin-America-wide phenomenon whereby the leadership of increasingly professionalized armies passed to sons of the middle class who had a commitment to modernizing the infrastructure of their societies (Encyclopedia Britannica). Bureaucratic authoritarianism, however, as practiced, for example, in Brazil after the coup of 1964, in Argentina by officers dedicated to keeping the Peronistas from regaining power, or in Chile under Pinochet, was a response to the perceived mismanagement of the economy by populists and other demagogues (Encyclopedia Britannica). It rested on the conviction that no democratically elected regime could afford to take the harsh measures needed to curb inflation, reassure foreign and domestic investors, and thereby quicken economic growth to the point that untrammeled democracy could be safely practiced (Encyclopedia Britannica). While military men kept order with varying degrees of harshness and human rights violations, civilian economists and technocrats would direct most other policy - hence the term bureaucratic authoritarianism (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Privatization refers to the act of the government 'selling off' state-owned enterprises to the private sector. This is usually done to raise capital for the state, with the aim of increasing competition within the privatized sector, in order to make prices more competitive for consumers. In Latin America, however, many such privatized businesses fell in to the hands of foreign companies, whose interests were simply to wring out profits, with no care for the country or its people, or the effects of its mode of doing business. Many people argue this is one of the main reasons for many of Latin America's current problems.


Encyclopedia Britannica. 2002 DVD-edition for Macintosh.

Williamson, E. (1992). The Penguin History of Latin America. [END OF PREVIEW]

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