This book examines the causes of the economic and political crisis in Argentina in 2001 and the process of strong economic recovery. It poses the question of how a country that defaulted on its external loans and was widely criticized by international observers could have succeeded in its growth and development despite this decision in 2002. It examines this process in terms of the impact of neo-liberal policies on the economy and the role of development strategy and the state in recovering from the crisis.
The book places the Argentina case in the theoretical framework of neoliberalism and state performance. It examines the origins of the crisis in the 1990s, the crisis and political collapse itself, and the efforts to overcome immediate poverty and social disruption in 2002. It then reviews the record of the government of the late President Néstor Kirchner from 2003 and 2007 and the efforts of the government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to continue reform and recovery despite the coming of the global financial crisis of 2008. The book identifies four key strategic choices, which help to explain Argentina’s success:
- national priorities and preferences were more important than global priorities set outside the country;
- the importance of regional cooperation within Latin America;
- the re-assertion of the role of the State; and
- the government’s objective should be to reduce poverty and inequality.
These four choices have defined Argentina’s strategy since 2003. They are also useful for other developing countries and for the international community to consider in other crises, including the current global economic crisis, Greece, Ireland, and Spain, as well as the need for reform of the conventional advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Read William Milberg’s review of Argentina’s Economic Growth and Recovery by Michael Cohen. Milberg is Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at The New School for Social Research.
Watch de video of the book launch event: