The Vicissitudes of the Latin American State

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1885 ... August 28, 2019

The Vicissitudes of the Latin American State:

Jeffery R. Webber in conversation with Mabel Thwaites Rey

In early May, while in Buenos Aires, I had an extended conversation with Mabel Thwaites Rey, one of the leading theorists of the Latin American state and preeminent analyst of the rise and fall of the progressive tide of social movements and governments in the twenty-first century. She is a professor in the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Buenos Aires.

In our discussion, we trace her intellectual and political development, the centrality of Gramsci and Poulantzas to her general understanding of the capitalist state, as well her theorization of the specificities of the Latin American state form, having to do, above all, with its subordinate incorporation into the world system of states and dependent relationship to the logics of global capital accumulation.

From these theoretical foundations, our discussion moves to Thwaites Rey’s interpretation of the rise of anti-neoliberal social movements at the turn of the century and the progressive governments that followed them,... themes covered in the volume she co-edited with Hernán Ouviña in 2012, El Estado en América Latina: Continuidades y rupturas (The State in Latin America: Continuities and Ruptures). Key issues taken up here are the impact of the commodities boom and the specificities of the role of the state under new progressive governments, compared to its role during the orthodox neoliberal era.

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