Accepted paper:

Old and new developmentalism in Latin America: social order, social welfare and social security fifty years later


Nicolas Dvoskin (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

Paper short abstract:

The 60s' and 70s' development policies for Latin America had strong utopias beneath them: full-employment, social protection and technological progress. After 30 years of neoliberalism a new era of developmentalism arose: social protection and development returned. But, were the utopias the same?

Paper long abstract:

This paper shows the conceptual and theoretical results of the author's undergoing postdoc research project, in which he analyzes the economic and social development agenda for Latin America between 1960 and 1980, but which indeed boosts many questions regarding current development agenda. The 1960s' and 1970s' development policies for Latin America -specially, for the larger countries- were thought as welfare policies, or as the closest that Latin America can be to the European welfare states. Of course they were led by economic purposes, but there were very strong utopias beneath them. These utopias were those of the European welfare society: a full-employment society, in which workers could work forever in the same company, with social protection, public education, health insurance and an accelerated technological progress. Actually, the fact that this path could even lead to some sort of social equality was not uncommon. At the beginning, there was even a strong belief on a sort of developmentalist spill-over theory: economic growth and industrialization -constrained by a tough social order- would automatically contribute to social welfare. After 30 years of undisputed neoliberalism -which's utopias were quite the opposite- a new era of developmentalism arose in Latin America during the first decade of the new century. Social protection, economic development and industrialization returned to the agenda. But, were the utopias the same as before? In this paper we argue that despite economic similarities, the social and political utopias were very different, and thus they would lead to different -even economic- results.

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Understanding social protection as technologies of social ordering and reproduction within contemporary development