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Political Development and Socioeconomic Development: The Case of Latin America

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  • Needler, Martin C.

Abstract

One way of acquiring insight into the processes of political development in Latin America is to compare the countries of the area systematically in terms of the “degree of development†which each can be said to have attained. Ideally, such an enterprise can lead to the understanding of the past history of the “more developed†countries by reference to the present problems of the “less developed†while an understanding of the problems confronting the more developed countries can make possible a glimpse into the future of those now less developed. Isolation of the factors responsible for a state's being more or less developed can moreover prove instructive for the understanding of the relations between political and socioeconomic phenomena. Perhaps most important, such comparisons provide the means for holding constant effects attributable to characteristics shared by all, or nearly all, of the Latin American countries. Thus it can be argued with much plausibility that military intervention in politics, say, derives from elements in the Hispanic tradition. Yet it is clear that the frequency of military intervention varies from country to country, even where they share equally in that tradidition. Thus one is forced to go beyond the “Hispanic tradition†thesis with which the investigation might otherwise have come to rest. In the present article I will be concerned with the problem of the relation of political development to socioeconomic development in the Latin American context. For reasons that will become apparent below, I will not at this point attempt a rigorous analysis of the concept of political development, which has already been the subject of a large and rapidly growing literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Needler, Martin C., 1968. "Political Development and Socioeconomic Development: The Case of Latin America," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 889-897, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:03:p:889-897_20
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    Cited by:

    1. Alejandro Corvalan, 2011. "Institutional Design aganist Electoral Participation: the case of Chile," Working Papers 32, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales.

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