chapter  3
17 Pages

Post-war development and regional integration

It is relatively easy to draw a broad-brush portrait of the theoretical foundations of post-war development in Latin America and the policy orientations which resulted from them. In theoretical terms, the underpinnings of post-war development were constituted by two principal sets of ideas, both of them indigenous to the Latin American region. The first was the structuralist school of thought expounded by ECLA economists, which provided the intellectual impetus to import substituting industrialisation (ISI) from the end of the Second World War, and indeed to the emergence of regional integration strategies in the form of the LAFTA. The second was the related dependency school, which emerged at least in part as an attempt to account for the failures of ISI, along, implicitly, with the failure of integration strategies to achieve any perceptible momentum. In terms of policy strategies, the picture is one of a movement by Latin American countries in relative tandem through an experiment with inwardlooking industrialisation, heavily conditioned by external linkages and offered a degree of rhetorical cohesion by regionalist endeavours, towards the onslaught of neoliberalism in the 1990s. Yet significant national diversity was equally manifest in the nature of inward-looking development strategies and experiences of industrialisation, arising from the types of state and state-society relations that both conditioned and were conditioned by industrialisation processes.