Extra-European Modern History (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Federica Bertagna, Maria Ines Barbero
Federica Bertagna
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2B dal Apr 8, 2019 al Jun 1, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have acquired the tools to understand the economic history of Latin America from 1870 to today and to analyze the problems of globalization and development from the historical and conceptual point of view.


Latin America in the global economy (1870-2015)
The proposal for a course on contemporary economic history in Latin America is linked to a number of reasons. First of all, the historical trajectory of Latin America is a topic of particular interest in debates on the factors that influence economic development. In fact, the Latin American case refers to a series of key points in these debates, including the relationship between income distribution and development, the role of institutions (including the links between democracy and development), or the effects of the degree of integration in world trade. In this regard, the course will contribute to a reflection on the problems of development from the historical and conceptual point of view. Secondly, the proposal is based on the fact that the contemporary economic history of Latin America is central to the comparative history of developing countries. Indeed, as Alexander Gerschenkron made a contribution to the study of the industrialization of the late comer countries in Europe, more recent authors have focused on Latin America as a scenario of the so-called late-late-industrialization. Although Latin America as a whole is not among the poorest regions of the planet, it has not yet managed to overcome the stage of "intermediate development". This has led many scholars to try to explain it in comparative terms, pointing out in particular the contrasts with the industrialized countries of Asia. This last aspect refers in turn to the effects of globalization in different regions of the planet, given that while Latin America generally enjoyed success during the first globalization, Asian countries were the great winners of the second. In this framework, the program of the course will focus primarily on the economic history of Latin America between 1870 and 2015, which will examine the main stages (export-led growth, state-led industrialization, pro-market reforms) and performance. Therefore, starting from the concrete historical experience, the course will include on the one hand the debates on the causes of the limits of its development and on the other the comparison with the success of the new industrialized countries of Asia, articulating history and theory, and comparative history .

Compulsory bibliography for attending and not attending students:
For a whole picture:
  - A. Rouquié, Latin America. Introduction to the extreme west, Milan, Mondadori, 2007, part I and III
On the debates on the late industrialization and the development of Latin America:
  - A. Gerschnkron, The historical problem of economic backwardness. Turin, Einaudi, 1965, chap. 1
  - A. O. Hirschman "The Confession of a Dissenting": The Strategy of Economic Development Revisited "in G. Meier and D. Seers, The Pioneers of Development," What Development "6-7, ASAL, 1988
  - Raul Prebisch "Five phases of my development theory", in G. Meier and D. Seers, The pioneers of development, "Quale Sviluppo" 6-7, ASAL, 1988
On immigration in Latin America:
- F. Devoto, "Italian emigration. A long-lasting phenomenon ", Altreitalie, n. 10, 1994, pp.75-83
- M.I.Barbero and C.Dethiou, "Immigration and entrepreneurship. Biellesi entrepreneurs in the Argentinean textile industry (1890s-1970s ", in M.R.Ostuni (edited by), Biellesi entrepreneurs in Latin America, Milan, Electa, in press
On national cases:
 - G. Urbani and F. Ricciu, From weapons to the polls. Economics, society and politics in the Latin America of the nineties, Milan, ISPI, 1991 *
 - B. Fausto, History of Brazil, Cagliari, Fabula, 2010 *

* the chapters to be studied will be indicated in class

Complementary bibliography (for further information, not required)

For an overview of the economic history of Latin America:
L. Bertola and J.A. Ocampo, The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence, Oxford University Press, 2012 (an edition is available in Spanish, on-line and in print); V.Bulmer-Thomas, The Economic History of Latin America since Independence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014 (third edition) (an edition in Spanish is available); V. Bulmer-Thomas, J. Coatsworth and R. Cortés Conde (eds.), The Economic History of Latin America, Vol. 2. The Long 20th Century, Cambridge University Press, 2006; R. Thorp, Progress, Poverty and Exclusion: an Economic History of Latin America in the 20th Century, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo-European Union, Washington, 1998 (editions in Spanish and Portuguese are available); L. Bethell (ed.), The Cambridge History of Latin America, 10 vols, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984-2008 (editions in Portuguese and Spanish are available).
Other complementary texts:
- T. Halperín Donghi, History of Latin America, Einaudi, Turin, 1972; A. H. Amsden, The Rise of the Rest. Challenges to the West from Late-Industrializing Economies, Oxford University Press, 2001;
- F. Devoto and B. Fausto, Argentina-Brasil: an ensayo de historia comparada, Buenos Aires, Sudamericana, 2006 (also available in Portuguese); F. Devoto and T.S. Di Tella, Political culture, social movements and democratic transitions in South America in the 20th century, Milan, Annals of the Feltrinelli Foundation, XXXII, 1997, P. Drake, Socialism and Populism in Chile, Valparaiso, Ed. De la Universidad, 1992.

Email prof. Barbero: barbero.mariaines@gmail.com

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
A. Rouquié L'America Latina. Introduzione all'Estremo Occidente 2000

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test. Only attending students will be able to opt for the oral exam or for a term paper.