Latin America: Longue Durée and Conjunture
21 Jun 2010 - 18:30
When we look at Latin America we can interpret what is going on there through these various lenses: we can concentrate on what is cyclical about the region; we can mark out major underlying continuities, and we can also take the more journalistic view. Our prognosis about its future prospects will be coloured by the lens we adopt to examine its past evolution. I therefore note some major continuities, identify some key cycles, and then take a more short term view to interpret what is going on and what we might expect in the coming years. Recognizing the internal diversity of Latin America despites is shared characteristics is a way of avoiding the pitfalls of the single story and to tell, instead, what Chinua Achebe calls a “balance of stories.”
Alexandra Barahona de Brito is Lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the University of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) and Freelance Researcher and Editorial Advisor, Cascais, Portugal. She was formerly senior associate researcher at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (IEEI), Lisbon. She has a D. Phil and M. Phil from Oxford University and has published books and articles on transitional justice, human rights, democratisation and European-Latin American relations, including: Human Rights and Democratization in Latin America: Uruguay and Chile (Oxford University Press 1997), and The Politics of Memory: Transitional Justice in Democratizing Societies (Oxford University Press 2001).