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7131 - An introduction to the seminar on Experiences in Local Development and Local Governance in Latin America, ICA 2012

Over the past few decades, the Latin American subcontinent has reinvented itself. For one, it has been a period which brought a substantial number of social and cultural changes. Next, globalization and liberalization hugely impacted on both the structure and development of Latin America’s economies. Thirdly, the democratization process brought about important changes in Latin America’s political landscapes and governance spaces. Fourthly, as a consequence of the political changes in the era, the influence of the state-controlled regional was drastically reduced

However, more especially as of the start of the 21st century, a trend towards the return of the state (with signs of re-centralization) is observable. Firstly, with the growing importance of local development trajectories, the need emerged to clearly outline the relationships between the local, provincial and national levels in the process, to develop guidelines, to identify local development opportunities, to produce (participatory) planning manuals, etc. Here, the state stepped in, generally in a supportive role, filling the capacity gaps of local and regional governments. Secondly, the process of local development and local governance soon met with the deeply engrained forces and practices of traditional politics and with persistent systems of patronage and clientelism. Thirdly, Latin American politics of the 21st century are clearly showing signs of re-centralization that run counter to the inclusion and participation of local communities. In the framework of a discourse on decentralization, inclusion and empowerment, the leading political party bureaucracies seem to be concentrating decision making power while excluding other interests and diminishing local and regional autonomies

Palabras claves: desarrollo local governanza local gobierno local participación ciudadana

Autores: Rofman, Adriana (Universidad nacional Gral Sarmiento, Argentina / Argentinien)

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