chapter  3
20 Pages

The International Scene and the Latin American External Debt

WithLuciano Tomassini

The force with which the international crisis has hit Latin America and the region's high external debt are, fundamentally, consequences of the changes that have taken place in the international system and of the transformation of the Latin American economies and societies. Since the late 1960s the rigidly hierarchical world that emerged from World War II, where international relations revolved around the concept of security, has begun to be eroded by a strong trend toward a fragmentation of world power and a vigorous process of transnationalization. This chapter presents an analysis of the changes that have occurred in the international system, the characteristics of the world economic crisis, and how the Latin American countries have been exposed to these factors as a result of the transformations they have undergone. The international system that emerged from World War II and lasted until the late 1960s has since then undergone a complete transformation.