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Latin America in turmoil, an update

June 29, 2022
Throughout the 1980s and 90s I was a ‘Latin Americanist’, living and travelling in the region, writing about it first as a journalist, then as a writer of region-wide books on the rise of market economics, child rights or, well, everything. Most of what I’ve thought and done since then has been shaped by those years, but living in the
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Four female activists tell us what they need from their international allies

November 5, 2019
As part of Power Shifts, I have started highlighting more grounded perspectives from activists, doers and thinkers around the world that speak to the question of ‘being a feminist in difficult places’. As a mini-series of sorts, I am hoping this conversation highlights how feminism, as well as backlashes against it – although diverse in both approach and outcome – ,

Combating corruption through community

April 12, 2019
David Riveros García makes a strong case for placing communities at the centre of anti-corruption work, based on the experience of organisations and movements in Paraguay. David is the founder and Executive Director of reAcción, an NGO that promotes civic participation and transparency in the education sector. Growing is often its own trap. For social initiatives, increased visibility brings the temptation of

How Latin American is my Theory of Change?

March 22, 2019
A recent email exchange with Asa Cusack of the LSE’s Latin America and Caribbean Centre (plus the Latin American tone of this week’s posts – Mexican, Argentine and Venezuelan guests in one week must be some kind of record) triggered a bout of nostalgia about my early days travelling in and writing about Latin America (roughly 1979-98) and set me wondering:

Is Mexico undergoing a transformation? Ricardo Fuentes on AMLO’s first 100 days.

March 19, 2019
In September, I interviewed my friend and Oxfam Mexico boss Ricardo Fuentes about the incoming president and his promises of a ‘4th transformation’ of the country. 100 days into the presidency of Andres Manuel López Obrador, I asked Ricardo to update us: A hundred days into the administration of Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador one thing is clear: his

Is Meritocracy the new Aristocracy? And the 11 Tricks that Elites use to capture Politics.

December 11, 2018
My Oxfam colleague and regular FP2P contributor Max Lawson (right) sends out a weekly summary of his reading on inequality (he leads Oxfam’s advocacy work on it). They’re great, and Max has opened his mailing list up to the anyone who’s interested – just email max.lawson@oxfam.org, with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line. Here’s his latest effort, covering two issues: a reflection on meritocracy and

Why is Latin America Going Backwards?

July 26, 2018
Simon Ticehurst, Oxfam’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, delves into the background of some worrying times for Latin America Just a few years ago Latin America was being lauded as a success story, with stable economic growth, political stability and historical progress in addressing poverty and finally tackling the structural and historical inequality that has stymied development in

What’s New in our Understanding of how Evidence Influences Policy? A view from Latin America

June 1, 2018
Following on Tuesday’s post on using evidence to influence policy in Guatemala, here’s Enrique Mendizabal, founder of On Think Tanks and the Latin American Evidence Week (October 22-29th) It seems rather hard to come up with anything original to say in the field of evidence-informed policy – unless we consider the change from evidence-based to evidence-informed policy. The case study approach,

W(h)ither Democracy; Latin American progress; China’s tobacco problem and poor world cancer; climate change progress: a Developmentista’s Guide to this week’s Economist

March 5, 2014
Should I be worried about how much I enjoy The Economist? I get some stick from colleagues, who reckons it is surreptitiously dripping neoliberal poison into my formerly socialist soul. But it’s just so good! On a good week, there are half a dozen must-read articles on development-related issues, which I try to tweet. But based on last week’s issue,

Why has economic crisis produced a new left in Latin America, but not elsewhere?

April 16, 2013
For a wonk parent it’s hard to beat the heart-warming experience of seeing your book referenced in your son’s university essay. In this case, junior had the task of trying to understand the link between neoliberalism and the rise of a new left in Latin America, so he cited Silent Revolution, a book I first published in 1995, when he

'It’s the share of the rich, stupid': brilliant inequality stats + politics from Gabriel Palma

May 10, 2012

Deja vu, role reversal or schadenfreude? The view of Europe's crisis from Latin America

September 23, 2011