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Global Crisis and Latin America


This essay examines Latin America’s experience in the crisis and restructuring of world capitalism from the 1970s into the twenty first century, with particular emphasis on the neo-liberal model, social conflicts and institutional quagmires that have engulfed the region, and the rise of a new resistance politics. The empirical and analytical sections look at: Latin America’s changing profile in the global division of labour; the domination of speculative finance capital; the continued debt crisis, its social effects and political implications; capital–labour restructuring, the spread of informalisation and the new inequality; the passage from social explosions to institutional crises; the new popular electoral politics and the fragility of the neo-liberal state. These issues are approached through the lens of global capitalism theory. This theory sees the turn-of-century global system as a new epoch in the history of world capitalism, emphasising new patterns of power and social polarisation worldwide and such concepts as a transnational accumulation, transnational capitalists and a transnational state. Finally, the essay argues that global capitalism faces a twin crisis in the early twenty first century, of overaccumulation and of legitimacy, and explores the prospects for social change in Latin America and worldwide.

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