As this smart compendium of current case studies reveals, experiments aimed at overcoming the ideological divide between state and market can come from many different sources: public agencies, state-owned firms, multinational corporations, local nongovernmental organizations, or international donors. Costa Rica, with its social democratic political bent, has proved to be a natural leader in spearheading public-private partnerships. There, Intel is transforming technical education in public schools, Chiquita has partnered with donors to protect the environment and improve working conditions on banana plantations, and a public-sector water company is partnering with municipalities and local businesses to clean up beach communities. For each case, the analysts show how the socially responsible programs promote the nation's overall development plans. These inspirational stories should encourage the replication of such pioneering enterprises.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.
More Reviews on Western Hemisphere From This Issue