Latin America: is a Spurt in Development Possible?

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-3-94-103

P. Yakovlev (,
Institute of Latin American Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 21/16, B. Ordynka Str., Moscow 115035, Russian Federation;
Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, 36, Stemyannyi Per., Moscow 115054, Russian Federation

Abstract. The so-called “golden decade” (2003–2013) in Latin America, marked by relatively high GDP growth, a buildup of foreign trade volume, expanding domestic market and rising living standards, rapidly became history thanks to years of recession, sluggish growth and deterioration of economic conditions for the majority of the population. After the failures of neo-liberal experiments of 1990s, the populist projects that established the matrix of social development in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and other countries of the region in the first decade of the 21st century also failed. Those who ruled these regimes demonstrated incompetence which caused an economic stupor and a serious social trauma to people of the Latin American republics. To these negative phenomena there should be added the domestic political turmoil, particularly, loud corruption scandals and the removal of acting heads of State from power, as well as increased foreign competition in the region. In addition, on the outer perimeter, the complexity of the situation is compounded by the fact that Latin America (with a few exceptions confirming the rule) has not been able to receive a maximum dividend from the globalization process, as China, India, the Republic of Korea, South-East Asia and some European States did, but fully suffered the shock of external effects: drops of prices on world commodity and food markets, financial disasters, consequences of “trade wars”. For nearly two decades, Latin America has been living under conditions of structural crisis of varying intensity, the essence of which is characterized not only by strong fluctuations in the rate of GDP growth and sharp changes on commodity and financial markets, but also by a deep transformation that has engulfed the economy, politics, social sphere and the scope of external relations of the regional countries. However, the process of these changes is not of a steady character, is marked by bends and intermittent periods of stagnation, weakening the region’s position in the global economy. In an effort to reverse this situation and take the path of steady growth, the search for opportunities to give an impetus to the socio-economic development has intensified in Latin America.

Keywords: Latin America, structural crisis, populism, industrial policy, the United States, China, international competition, growth strategy


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For citation:
Yakovlev P. Latin America: is a Spurt in Development Possible?. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 94-103.

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