In This Review

Debt And Democracy In Latin America
Debt And Democracy In Latin America
By Barbara Stallings and Robert R. Kaufman
Westview, 1989, 232 pp

Latin America during the 1980s experienced the apparent paradox of political opening toward democracy in the midst of drastic economic downturn. This path-breaking volume, a collection of essays by several established scholars and a few younger specialists, is the first to examine systematically the two-way relationship between political regimes and economic policies during this period. Individual chapters take up key actors and major cases, as well as the longer-term pattern of interplay between democratic politics and economic policy. The co-editors' final essay argues that non-military political regimes have played an important role in shaping the response of Latin American countries to the economic crisis of the 1980s, and that there has also been a correlation, albeit weaker, between regime type and economic performance. However, the essay also suggests that prolonged deprivation in Latin America will not necessarily erode political democracy in the period ahead.