The Southern Cone Model
Our remaining task now is to address the core question of what, in concise summary, we should understand to be the core characteristics of the ‘Southern Cone Model’. This involves accommodating the range of very distinctive national political economies, which I have sought consistently to emphasise as we have advanced through the pages of the book, within a contention that they fit into, and indeed constitute, a structure that is sufficiently coherent to approximate a distinctive ‘model’ of regional capitalist development. Such a challenge is inherent in any form of comparative analysis that undertakes to identify a group of national political economies with sufficiently similar characteristics that they might be collected together as a group, and obviously the models of capitalism literature constitutes a prime example of this sort of enterprise. In this debate, a notion of a model or variety of capitalism rests on no more than a set of characteristics shared by the capitalist systems of two or more countries. It is nowhere claimed that systems grouped together in the various ‘models’ are identical to each other, or conversely that certain identified characteristics are exclusive to the group of national political economies in question. In this sense, the identification of a model of capitalist development demands appropriate attention to diversity between the national political economies that are grouped together in a particular model, while setting out sufficiently solid evidence of commonality between them to substantiate the claim that they can indeed be deemed collectively to comprise an identifiable model.