From 14th to 16th October, 2015 the annual meeting of the Latin American Society of Political Economy and Critical Thinking (SEPLA) will be held in Mexico, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the organization.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the main problems that Latin American countries face and, after a decade working as a regional organization of critical or heterodox economists, debate challenges and contributions originated from latin amercian political economy, in an international and multidisciplinary perspective.

After more than two decades of neoliberalism imposition in Latin America, with devastating results for our people, the 2000s marked major changes in the political and economic spheres, as a result of  the accumulation of strength and power of social resistance movements. In many countries in the region, governments have had to consider this new correlation of forces, but with significant heterogeneity in alternative policies used:  low density social democratic economic programs (Honduras, Guatemala, Paraguay, El Salvador, Paraguay), neo-developmentalist policies (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nicaragua), and anti-imperialist and pro-socialist programs (Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and, of course, Cuba.)

The political change in Latin America has given impetus to progressive policies and poverty reduction policies through various combinations of the expansion of the payroll and real wages and social programs in fields of redistribution and employment, with significant results in terms of economic growth and especially, in equality and distributive justice. In addition, there has been significant progress, in some cases, of complementing formal democracy with participatory forms of popular representation. Finally, regional integration aspirations led by the US and its neoliberal project have been deterred, and the foundations for regional integration projects based on international cooperation and solidarity (ALBA, Sugar, CELAC, UNASUR) were put in place.

Undoubtedly, the favorable political and economic international situation has contributed to this performance. The favorable relative commodity export prices have helped many countries’ trade balances. Politically, the intense political and military involvement of the United States in other regions of the world has implied a softening of the imperialist intervention in Latin America in the same years.

This set of trends is facing several challenges, limitations and contradictions: the intensification of the extractive or neoextractive character of the economies of the region, the reprimarizing tension, which limits the possibilities of industrialization and sets conditions for foreign trade, the lack of formal employment, low levels of wages as a share of national income, pressure of transnational capitals in local structures of production and their own accumulation needs, the export of large capital flows to the central countries, the conditioning role of the local bourgeoisie in the process of change, the limited scope of the participation of State in the production, and the higher limits to popular participation in the administration of existing public enterprises, among others. Ambiguities about the class or popular character of some governments have created ​​a number of dilemmas for the working class and its organizations. The presence of regional integration projects based on free trade and political subordination to the north is a risk that increases tensions in the agenda, as indicated by the Pacific Alliance.

The 2010s brought challenges and barriers to the pursuit of political and economic trajectory in Latin America. First, the global structural crisis changed the international context and also reached, although to a lesser extent, Latin American countries involved in the transformation process. Second, the continuous attempts of destabilization and political “putschism” tended to present a higher incidence and greater strength due to the wear and tear of the economic and political programs implemented, as well as due to the renewed imperialist intervention led by the United States. In turn, the positive economic conditions based on the favorable terms of trade for the region have ended.

Therefore, the difficulties and challenges that the countries of Our America face are manyfold. First, the already mentioned concerning the political opposition, the imperialist offensive and the less favorable economic conditions. In addition, the limits of national anti-neoliberal policies and / or anti-capitalist have been called into question. Furthermore, concerns on the trends of bureaucratization of the States’ responsible sectors to perform the alternative economic policies, and on the need for a greater role and power of workers organizations and social movements in the preparation and monitoring of public policies and for the encouragement of collective forms of property, were raised. Furthermore, the limitations of the implementation of economic policies at the level of the Nation-State have been proposed, and the need to strengthen joint regional integration processes, transcending national borders, was conceived.

We call all researchers, teachers, students and intellectuals to attend the meeting of the SEPLA, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary


Hotsite of the Meeting:ón-Mexicana.png?fit=1024%2C789&ssl=1ón-Mexicana.png?fit=150%2C150&ssl=1SEPLAEventsLatin AmericaFrom 14th to 16th October, 2015 the annual meeting of the Latin American Society of Political Economy and Critical Thinking (SEPLA) will be held in Mexico, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the organization. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the main problems that Latin American...Sociedade de Economia Política Latinoamericana