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Challenges For Latin American States And Public Enterprises At The Turn Of The New Millennium

Author: JOSE GPE. VARGAS HERNANDEZ
Published in PFM, Vol. 2 No. 1

This article acknowledges that the last decades of the 20th
century have seen the institutions of governance in Latin American
countries affected by small macroeconomic achievements and reduced
economic growth, and the development of an extremely fragile
democracy. The implanting of the new model of neoliberal state
consolidation has come at high cost, and has not produced either the
expected strengthening in the political, economic and social spheres, or
the expected gains in efficiency, equity and freedom. This so-called
economic liberalization has generated instability in the structure and
functions of the state and public enterprises, limiting the reaches of
democracy and legality, and ensuring that the effects of the associated
managerial orientation which has transformed public administration
are largely negative. Looking forward into the 21st century, a
pessimistic prediction is that these tendencies will continue, producing
similar unstable mixes of democratic populism and oligarchic
pragmatism. More optimistically, the Latin American states may come
to see that genuine social development is necessary for sustained
economic growth, and introduce policies to achieve that outcome.

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