The Dependency Movement: Scholarship And Politics In Development Studies

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The Dependency Movement: Scholarship And Politics In Development Studies

By Robert A. Packenham
Harvard University Press, 1992
362 pp. $42.50
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Some 15 years in preparation, this volume assesses the origins, methods, meaning and influence of the dependencia perspective that dominated Latin American social science and its counterpart literature in the United States at the time the project was begun. In a post-Cold War world-and a post-authoritarian and postcommunist Latin America, where neoconservative ideas are fashionable-it is hard to recall the powerful appeal of the dependencia approach, but Packenham argues persuasively that its hold was very strong and that it was reinforced by political techniques inappropriate to professional scholarship. Although somewhat overwrought, this book deserves serious consideration as a passionate and well-executed critique of an important chapter in inter-American cultural relations.

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