Neoliberal Modernity Crisis in Latin America at the Twenty First Century: Social Cleavages, National Challenges and Hemispheric Revisionism

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Morales Vega, Gustavo Adolfo




This dissertation is concerned with the way in which the crisis of the neoliberal modernity project applied in Latin America during the 1980s and 1990s affected the political order of the hemisphere at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This work’s main argument is that the responses to the social cleavages produced by the global hegemonic pretension of neoliberalism have, on one hand, produced governments in the region driven internally by different and opposed places of enunciation, practices, ideas, and rationalities. On the other hand, these responses have generated locked international communities in the continent between “blocs” moved by different collective meanings. What Latin America is currently living through is not a process of transition resulting from the accomplishment of a new hemispheric consensus but a moment of uncertainty, a consequence of the profound crisis of legitimacy left by the increased weakness of neoliberal collective meanings. It is precisely the dispute about the “correct” collective judgement to organize the American space that moves the international stage in an apparently contradictory dynamic of regional integration and confrontation. In general terms, it is a wide-ranging dispute, not limited exclusively to the political, economic or social sphere. It is an all-encompassing one embedded in the problem of modernity, and as such, related with conflicting worldviews. The first chapter explores the course that the neoliberal project took in the region; its origins, development and crisis. The second chapter is a cross-national analysis of the emerging projects in Latin America. The purpose is to determine the collective meanings behind new national projects such as postcolonial indigeneity, confrontational populism, defective neoliberalism and social liberalism. The next chapter is a genealogy that introduces the changes that the new practices and agents emerging in the continent are producing on the international stage. The aim is to grasp the singularity of the contemporary juncture in the light of its continuities and ruptures with the past. The final chapter is a cross-international analysis that holds that with the crisis of neoliberalism, the Americas seem to be fragmented in different rival projects competing between each other.


Political Science




Carleton University

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Science

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Theses and Dissertations

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