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Beyond ‘Delegative Democracy’: ‘Old Politics’ and ‘New Economics’ in Latin America

    • Published online: 03 November 2000

For around 15 years Latin America has been undergoing an unprecedented conjunction of political and economic change, from authoritarianism to democracy and from a state-centred matrix of economic development towards free-market economies. This article takes up the theme of the links between politics and economic change in contemporary Latin America. More specifically, it examines the relation between ‘old politics’ and ‘new economics’. It has two main purposes: The first is to re-examine some of modernisation theory's assumptions about the relations between political and economic modernisation. The second, more specific to the Latin American debate, is to question some of the dominant views about the nature of democracy in the region, particularly Guillermo O'Donnell's influential ‘delegative democracy’ model.

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I wish to thank Alexandra Barahona de Brito, Lynda Dexheimer, Marcos Novaro, Vicente Palermo, Juliana Bambaci and Paolo Benedetti for their many helpful comments. I am grateful to Lynda Dexheimer for her assistance with the editing of this article.
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Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
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