Overview: Neoliberalism and Global Development
The middle of the 20th century is the time of the Cold War. In that period, as you may know, the hegemony of the planet was a struggle between the United States of America and the Soviet Union (USSR), based mainly on wars at a distance, catalyzed the space race, potentiated the ideological division, and produced dozens of conflicts that affect our world until today. Each power was influencing other nations and countries politically, economically, and culturally. During that time, the long-established Monroe Doctrine for the U.S. on the Americas took on another meaning.
U.S. interventionism in Latin America is one of the most intense expressions of the Cold War. From the Cuban embargo, military training and strategic support, the funding of research activities with the intent of influence, the installation of regional and international regulation, the “soft power” of media spreading particularly in Latin America, to the political acts against elected representatives, the United States kept most the nations of Latin America under its side, no matter what the cost.
These times are also one of Latin America’s darkest during its 200-year history when several military-civic dictatorships violate human rights and erased personal and collective freedoms. The specific economic reforms (supported by Europe and the US) installed neoliberal agendas in the governments, decreasing the State’s capabilities to take care of their citizens by the regulation of any kind of markets (including health, education, and even water). While the quality of life increased in many countries, this was at the cost of lives and collective projectsdictators of various colors imposed for years, or even decades ferous punishment to theirs opposition. The relevance to situate the recent history and the memory of Latin American peoples is key to understand the assumptions, values, and expectations that current development agendas had to confront in the region and its future, as well as the importance of the international relations, external commerce and ideological influences in the present.
For this reason, in this section, we will focus on understanding the political, economic, and scientific influence of the United States within the region, a key element in understanding the current form of development in Latin America after the military interventions and coups that happened on the 70s and 80s in most of the region.
Explore your country in the Atlas of Economic Complexity https://atlas.cid.harvard.edu/ (Links to an external site.)
These visualizations can show which kind of elements are critical for each nation in economic terms, and you might easily recognize how different aspects of the economy (services, commodities, and manufacture) contribute to your country.
Please, make a specific exploration of economic imports and exports, and look at how much of your country’s project’s economy is dependent on the U.S.
This week’s learning objective is to describe the influence and changes in Latin American culture during the Cold War, specifically how the US changes the region’s political, economic, and scientific landscapes.
In this week, we will explore the indigenous and colonial history of the region, which include elements from:
– Describe the relevance of the Operacion Condor, and other interventions of the US over Latin America changed the cultural scenario of the region during the Cold War.
Explore how science and technology shaped the Latin American Culture, particularly exploring the strategies and position that scientists, engineers, and other knowledge professionals had during the Cold War concerning Human Rights in the region.
The topics for this week are:
- The ideological process between Latin America and the U.S.
- Science, Technology, and Memory during the Cold War
After reading, watching, and exploring the materials for this week, please do not forget to complete the activities for the week this week:
Part 1 Country Project 5: The North American influence
For this task, describe in 500 words or less, describe how has evolved the relationship between your country and the United States of America. Consider the historical connections, economical exchanges, cultural or military interventions (if there is), and current scenario.
Then, share a brief commentary from your own perspective on that relation, and how that relationship can be improved for the best of both nations.
Science, Technology and Memory part 2
Science and Technology are key elements to pursue and fulfill the expectations of development agendas. In that way, this week you need to select a study case from your interest to connect with the cultural consequence of science in Latin American lives.
Based on the readings, summarize the main arguments from Sagasti, Vessuri, and the selected case study. Then respond: Which similitudes and differences do you think has Latin American science and technology with the rest of the world? Using your case study, Why is important for Latin American nations to invest and support science and technology today? (At least 750 words)
Module 5: Ideological processes between the US and Latin America
In my opinion, this week is one of the hardest in the course. In particular, because these processes are really terrible for all the parts, and study a humanitarian crisis like the ones that you will start to read in this section. Please, start reading Zanchetta´s article to understand the ways in which the U.S. was involved and supporting South American dictatorships, as well a general perspective of the relations between the US and Latin America.
*Zanchetta, B. (2016). Between Cold War Imperatives and State-Sponsored Terrorism: The United States and Operation Condor. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 39(12), 1084-1102.
Then, we will look in a process that happens some years before the Condor Operation, in the wonderful narrative of Adam Westbrook (2015) Bananas, Sardine, and Sharks (9 min)
Images are fundamental to illustrate the atrocities that happen in each country. Then, I have 2 options for you to choose from: the history of Manuel Noriega, dictator of Panama between 1983 and 1989 (40 min), and/or a short video about the Condor Operation. (22 min)
Finally, to understand new emerging ways in which the US-Latin America relations operate, watch How U.S. Involvement In Central America Led To a Border Crisis| AJ+ (2018)
Then, Pick 1 of the following 4 study cases. Each one of them shows the role of science and technology in the period and reflects on the importance of researchers on the configuration, support, and resistance of political processes in that time.
Smith, L. A. (2016). Identifying democracy: Citizenship, DNA, and identity in post-dictatorship Argentina. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 41(6), 1037-1062.
Alcañiz, I. (2010). Bureaucratic networks and government spending: a network analysis of nuclear cooperation in Latin America. Latin American Research Review, 148-172.
Bernasconi, O., Lira, E., & Ruiz, M. (2019). Political Technologies of Memory: Uses and Appropriations of Artefacts that Register and Denounce State Violence. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 13(1), 7-29.
The following will require you a deep reflection about the case that you pick of these. Make your selection based on your disciplinary and professional interests.
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