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The European Union at 50. What Europe can learn from Latin American social science after 5 decades of European integration. An essay in honor of Osvaldo Sunkel


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  • Arno Tausch


One of the most famous pieces of Latin American scholarship, the article Sunkel, Osvaldo 1973 “Transnational capitalism and national disintegration in Latin America.” Social and. Economic Studies 22 (1): 156–171, published originally in 1969 and having appeared in many translations and editions around the globe ever since, proposed the still provocative thought that transnational investment and integration might go hand in hand, under certain conditions, with an increasing relative social polarization between rich and poor in the host countries of the evolving transnational system and on the international level. In 1998, the present author published an essay at the electronic archive of the University of California at Riverside, which was – as a reference to Osvaldo Sunkel - entitled “Transnational integration and national disintegration”. Preparing for the festivities of Europe at 50, I came to the conclusion to re-publish this essay as it was published in 1998, with an afterword, which will show how right Sunkel was and how much the European decision makers can learn from Latin American social sciences. Our combined measure of the velocity of the globalization process is based on the increases of capital penetration over time, on the increases of economic openness over time, and on the decreases of the comparative price level over time: the United States, Mexico, larger parts of Africa and large sections of West and South Asia escaped from the combined pressures of globalization, while Eastern and Southern Latin America, very large parts of Europe, Russia and China were characterized by a specially high tempo of globalization. The “wider Europe” of the EU-25 is not too distantly away from the social realities of the more advanced Latin American countries. From the viewpoint of world systems theory such tendencies are not a coincidental movement along the historic ups and downs of social indicators, but the very symptom of a much more deep-rooted crisis, which is the beginning of the real re-marginalization and re-peripherization of the European continent.

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This book is provided by Argentine Center of International Studies in its series E-books in International Relations with number 017 and published in 2006.

Volume: 1
Edition: 1
Handle: RePEc:cis:ebook0:017

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Keywords: fifty anniversary; european union; latin amerca; sunkel;

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  1. Karl Aiginger & Wolfgang Leitner, 2002. "Regional concentration in the United States and Europe: Who follows whom?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(4), pages 652-679, December.
  2. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
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