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The Paradigmatic Depletion of the Neoliberal State in Latin America: Exploring the Governance for Sustainable Development

Miguel Moreno Plata

During the contemporary period, the evolution of the great majority of Latin American States has followed two main directions: neoliberalism and neopopulism. Although these political formations are based on antagonistic paradigms, both currents have a fundamental coincidence: the weakening of the institutional capacities of the State, as well as the emergence of conflicting relations between the State and other central actors, of both market, and civil society. In this context, it is necessary to explore new frameworks of analysis that enable the construction of new state institutions which guarantee autonomy and efficient cooperation between the different socio-political spheres in the modern era.

The main objectives of this work are the exploration of new theoretical approaches for the resizing of the role of the State in Latin America, particularly in development policies. For it, three central themes are analyzed: 1) the theories related to the developmental State, with emphasis on the role of bureaucratic organizations, based on the review of the experience of Southeast Asian countries; 2) the analysis of some of the main contributions of the governance model, with emphasis on the distribution of power among the different sociopolitical agents, especially the State and the government; and 3) a brief review of the complex and interactive nature of the sustainability paradigm and its implications for the role of the State in development processes.

The principal conclusions of this paper point to the integration of a broad research agenda that places at the center of the political and academic debate, the need for a profound reform of the State, with emphasis on the aspects related to the institutional mechanisms of cooperation and interaction of the State with other central actors in development policies, as well as the reconfiguration of supranational institutions in the region, as a basis for the integration and implementation of sustainable human development agenda policies for the 21st century.

Key words:Development Policy; Function of the State; Governance; Institutional Development; Latin America

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