Neostructuralism and Heterodox Thinking in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Early Twenty-First Century

image of Neostructuralism and Heterodox Thinking in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Early Twenty-First Century
Neostructuralism delves more deeply into the issues addressed in structuralism, aiming to improve positioning in the international economy, boost productive employment creation, reduce structural heterogeneity and improve income distribution, while maintaining financial balances capable of sustaining changes in the sphere of production by means of social and State support. Far from being an insular system of thinking, neostructuralism is an open system that lends itself to dialogue with other philosophies that recognize the limitations of the dominant paradigm and object to its methodological monism. This book offers a fresh look at neostructuralism and heterodox thinking at the start of the twenty-first century. In a context shaped by the impacts of the worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression and by paradigmatic changes at the global level, it aims to carve out arenas for discussion between alternative lines of thinking in order to lay the foundations for a socioeconomically inclusive and environmentally sustainable model of development for the region.

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The economic thinking that held sway over academic teaching and economic policy for more than five decades has been severely criticized in recent years, and is now at the centre of an intense debate among the economists who support this school of thought, as well as between its advocates and opponents. This intellectual discussion alternates between positions that either defend or question the prevailing paradigm in terms of its conceptual and empirical coherence and validity. This situation was largely brought about by onset of the two largest, longest and most intense crises since the Great Depression: the international economic and financial crisis (2008-2009) and the eurozone crisis (2009-2013). The huge economic and social repercussions of these historically unprecedented events has generated heated discussion over the need to review or reformulate policies to respond to these challenges, taking into account the implications that such actions will have for the prevailing economic model. Yet the socioeconomic vulnerabilities that have resulted from the recent crises have also allowed for rethink of policy tools considering alternative approaches, founded on heterodox schools of economic thought such as the evolutionary, institutional, regulatory and post-Keynesian schools, as well as the approaches that emerged from developmentalism, essentially structuralism and neostructuralism.

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