Technopols: Freeing Politics and Markets in Latin America in the 1990s

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Technopols: Freeing Politics and Markets in Latin America in the 1990s

Edited by Jorge Domínguez
Penn State Press, 1997
287 pp. $55.00
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This interesting book contains five informative essays on the careers, ideas, and policies of the Latin American "technopols." The term was coined, as Richard E. Feinberg tells us in his foreword, by Jorge Dominguez and himself over margaritas at the Adams Morgan Hotel in Washington to describe a new type of Latin American leader. The "technopol" is part technocrat, to be sure, but just as important, a political actor who understands that democratic politics can best shape and assure long-term economic development and that markets are in turn good for democracy. They examine Domingo Cavallo in Argentina, Pedro Aspe in Mexico, Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Brazil, and Evelyn Matthei and Alexandro Foxley in Chile. All are major social scientists, and all but Matthei served as finance ministers of their countries, with Cardoso also elected president. Unfortunately, as with much of Latin American social science, this book's frame of reference remains parochial, and little attention is paid to the global changes and ideological transformations that have significantly shifted the discourse on politics and economics over the past decade and deeply influenced men like Foxley and Cardoso.