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Toward a Critique of Latin American Neostructuralism

  • Fernando Ignacio Leiva (a1)


This article offers a critical assessment of the first postneoliberalism development framework that emerged in Latin America after 1990. The ability of neostructuralism to present an attractive narrative about a twenty-first-century “modernity with solidarity” is based on abandoning key tenets of ECLAC's structuralism and the thinking of Raúl Prebisch and Celso Furtado; namely, a focus on the distribution and appropriation of economic surplus and a framing of Latin American development problems in a world capitalist system. This article argues that Latin American neostructuralism's discursive strengths, as well as its analytical weaknesses, stem from the marginalization of power relations from key dimensions of the region's political economy. Since 2000, neostructuralism has exacerbated its descriptive, short-term perspective, further dulling its analytical edge, by focusing on policies that promote social cohesion and state intervention in the cultural and the socioemotional realm.



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Latin American Politics and Society
  • ISSN: 1531-426X
  • EISSN: 1548-2456
  • URL: /core/journals/latin-american-politics-and-society
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