David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University works to increase knowledge of the cultures, economies, histories, environment and contemporary affairs of Latin America; to foster cooperation and understanding among the peoples of the Americas; and to contribute to democracy, social progress and sustainable development throughout the hemisphere. DRCLAS was founded in 1994 as an initiative to promote high-quality teaching and research on Latin America and related fields at Harvard University. The Center’s structure reflects its interdisciplinary mandate: The Executive Committee is comprised of eight senior faculty members from throughout the University. A separate Policy Committee helps to direct the Center’s development. DRCLAS supports faculty-directed research projects and academic conferences and assists students who want to learn more about Latin America through research, work, study, or volunteering in the region.
The Center’s publication program brings together many of the world’s foremost Latin Americanists to produce books on various topics concerning Latin America.
Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
This collection of critical essays examines distinctive moments of the Americas Society’s visual art program and its impact on the formation of a Latin American market in the United States. Founded in 1965, the Americas Society has played a pivotal role in Latin American art, from Pre-Colombian to modernism. A Principality of Its Own explores the achievements and experiments that modeled the institution from the Cold War to the present.
Beginning with a Bang! features the shift between the explosive moment in the Argentine art scene of the 1960s and the current scene emerging during the last 40 years. The exhibition catalogue brings together a historical section as well as information of performance-based actions, and sound and video works by Argentine contemporary artists.
Based on the results of a two-year research process on how social and business organizations in Iberoamerica achieve superior social performance, this book presents the most comprehensive and in-depth analysis of such practices ever undertaken in this region. This practitioner-oriented book also enriches the literature on organizational performance, social enterprise, and corporate social responsibility. It aims to enable social and business leaders to gain a greater understanding of how to achieve high performance in terms of social value creation.
This pioneering volume provides a comprehensive overview of China’s economic policy and performance over recent decades and contrasts them with the Latin American experience, opening new avenues for thinking about revitalizing development strategies in Latin America in the face of China’s successful development and reduction of poverty. This insightful report is a must-read for analysts, policymakers, and development practitioners, not only in Latin America and the Caribbean, but wherever China’s presence is being felt.
This study analyzes how the workings of the policymaking process affect the quality of policy outcomes. It looks beyond a purely technocratic approach, arguing that the political and policymaking processes are inseparable. It offers a wide variety of examples and case studies, and yields useful insights for the design of effective policy reform.
Can local markets and clusters represent a powerful alternative to global markets? Do transnational corporations and global buyers enhance or undermine local firms’ upgrading and learning? Using original empirical evidence from several clusters in Latin America, Upgrading to Compete shows that both local and global dimensions matter at once.
Living with Debt focuses on how to manage sovereign debt safely and effectively. The report traces the history of sovereign borrowing in Latin America, releases a new data set on public debt, and analyzes debt’s evolution, highlighting the recent trend toward higher domestic debt and lower external borrowing. Also included is a detailed study of the costs of sovereign defaults, such as those that have affected Latin American countries in recent years.
The advance of democracy in Latin America over the past quarter century has helped ensure respect for fundamental political freedoms, civil liberties, and human rights. Democracies in Development highlights how an effective democracy is also essential for sustainable economic and social development. The book analyzes the effects of institutions on democratic systems, identifies regional trends in political reform, and gauges the value and types of reform that may hold promise for strengthening democracy in the future.
Despite decades of reform and global integration, many people in Latin America claim they are worse off. This book argues that democratization, macroeconomic stabilization, and globalization have disrupted the traditional labor-market–based paths of integration based on public and formal employment and made those left behind more vulnerable to the traditional forces of discrimination and exclusion.
Using unique household data sets for six Latin American countries, the essays collected in this volume put together a compelling picture of the effects of privatization.
What determines the capacity of countries to design, approve, and implement effective public policies? To address this issue, this book builds on the results of a comparative study of political institutions, policymaking processes, and policy outcomes in eight Latin American countries. The volume benefits from both micro detail on the intricacies of policymaking in individual countries and a broad cross-country interdisciplinary analysis of the process in the region.
In South and Central America, a movement toward further economic integration has begun. In the hope of expediting the process, and to foster a better understanding of the policy actions required, the Inter-American Development Bank studied the impact of trade integration on taxes. This book collects twelve of these studies.
This book explores key metropolitan management issues, presents practical principles of good governance as they apply to the metropolis, and unfolds cases of institutional and programmatic arrangements to tackle such issues.
This book explores the impact of transport costs on trade in Latin America and the Caribbean, and argues that transport costs have assumed an unprecedented strategic importance to the region. It concludes that a broader and more balanced trade agenda would bring the long-neglected issue of transport costs to the center of the policy debate.
Traditionally, the concept of quality of life has been viewed through objective indicators of living conditions, basic needs, or capabilities. In Beyond Facts, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) looks at quality of life through the perceptions of millions of Latin Americans. Using an enhanced version of the recently created Gallup World Poll that incorporates Latin America–specific questions, the IDB surveyed people from throughout the region and found that reality and perceptions of quality of life are often very different. Beyond Facts attempts to explain these differences and consider their implications for both politics and policy.
The budget is the main tool used to allocate scarce public resources, and it is in the context of the budget process that politicians must make trade-offs between policy priorities. This book describes the budget practices, both formal and informal, in 10 countries of Latin America and explains fiscal results in terms of four features.
The idea that market mechanisms can mobilize social change by engaging the poor in win–win scenarios is gaining increased world attention. Companies, social sector organizations, and development agencies are all beginning to glean the potential that lies among the world’s poorest people, both as an untapped productive force and a neglected consumer market. This book aims to demonstrate how the private sector can become part of the solution of poverty. In this study, the authors assess market initiatives in Iberoamerica by large corporations, cooperatives, small and medium enterprises, and nonprofit organizations.
Since the 1990s, historians, economists, and other social scientists have sought to document and analyze the historical roots of Latin America’s relatively high inequality and persistent poverty. This edited volume with 8 compelling chapters by preeminent economists and social scientists brings together scholarly efforts to measure and explain changes in Latin American living standards as far back as the colonial era. Recent work has focused on physical welfare, or “biological” well-being, using novel measures such as heights or stature of children and adults (a measure of net nutrition) and the Human Development Index (HDI). Other work brings to the discussion new and more reliable measurements that can be used for comparing countries, often with unexpected and startling results.
This volume provides a synthesis of the lessons learned and challenges confronted in implementing neighbourhood improvement programs, based on the practical experiences of designing, implementing, and evaluating these types of programs in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. The book provides a wide panorama of the most complex problems that the cities of the LAC region currently face and shows—with examples of projects under execution—that it is possible to solve them through the expansion of the scale of interventions.
In the past 30 years, democratic freedom and competitive electoral processes have taken hold as never before in Latin America. This book zeroes in on the intricate workings of democratic institutions (political party systems and the legislature), the actors that participate in democratic systems (governors, judges, bureaucrats, and other members of civil society), and the arenas in which political and policy interactions take place (formal or informal). How do those institutions, actors, and arenas affect the policymaking processes of Latin American countries for better or worse? In its scope and complexity, the volume moves well beyond stylized views of the political systems in Latin America.
Arguably few other social phenomena are likely to impact the future character of American society as much as the ongoing wave of "new immigration." Who are the new immigrants? What do they want? How are they changing American society? This cross-disciplinary book brings together twelve essays by the leading scholars of the most significant aspect of the new immigration: Mexican immigration to the United States.
The fifteen essays in this volume apply the methods of the new economic history to the history of the Latin American economies since 1800. The authors combine the historian’s sensitivity to context and contingency with modern or "neoclassical" economic theory and quantitative methods.
The end of the Cold War shifted the agenda of U.S.-Latin American relations away from hemispheric security toward trade and investment, drugs and migration. The new agenda has increased pressure to eliminate anachronistic U.S. embargo on Cuba and also includes Latin America’s growing ties to the countries of the European Union and other regions. This book contains fifteen essays by distinguished U.S., Latin American, and European scholars on each of these issues, framed by overviews of the changing historical context from the nineteenth century to the end of the Cold War.
Organized by Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies with the collaboration of the Scientific Committee for Problems of the Environment, this interdisciplinary volume examines the impact of a variety of new technological, social, and economic trends on the rural environment.
The book provides a valuable overview of current problems facing indigenous peoples in their relation with national states in Latin America, from the highlands of Mexico to the jungles of Brazil. The traditional, sometimes centuries old, relations between states and indigenous peoples are now changing and being rediscussed. The collection, authored by U.S. and Latin American anthropologists using interdisciplinary approaches, enables the reader to understand these recent developments in a comparative framework.
This volume, the result of a conference organized by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies of Harvard University and the Institute for Latin American Studies at the University of London, presents new interpretations of the causes of the events in Bolivia of 1952 and compares them to the great social transformations that occurred in France, Mexico, Russia, China, and Cuba. It also considers the consequences of the revolution by examining the political, social, and economic development of the country, as well as adding important insights to the understanding of this fascinating Andean country.
This work, based on a conference sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, examines how this free trade process is surging ahead, while at the same time taking on a broader set of issues including institutional reform, transparency, the environment, labor, and social cohesion.
An American supermarket and a Mexican food bank, an Argentine newspaper and a solidarity network, and a Chilean pharmacy chain and an elder care home are just a few examples of how businesses are partnering with community organizations in powerful ways throughout Latin America. The authors analyze why and how such social partnering occurs and provide a compelling framework for identifying key levers that maximize value creation for participants and society.
How can Cuba address the challenges of economic development and transformation that have bedeviled so many Latin American and Eastern European countries? For the Cuban and American social scientists and policy experts writing in this timely and provocative volume, the answer lies in examining Cuba’s development trajectory by delving into issues ranging from the political economy of reform to their impact on specific sectors including export development, foreign direct investment, and U.S.–Cuba trade.
Bitter Fruit is a comprehensive and insightful account of the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. This book has become a classic, a textbook case of the relationship between the U.S. and the Third World. It is a warning of what happens when the U.S. abuses its power.
Passing Lines seeks to stimulate dialogue on the role of sexuality and sexual orientation in immigration to the U.S. from Latin America and the Caribbean. The book looks at the complexities, inconsistencies, and paradoxes of immigration from the point of view of both academics and practitioners in the field.
Latin America is a profoundly philanthropic region with deeply rooted traditions of solidarity with the less fortunate. This volume brings together groundbreaking perspectives on such diverse themes as corporate philanthropy, immigrant networks, and new grant-making and operating foundations with corporate, family, and community origins.
First written in 1570, this work now published in modern Spanish with an English translation sheds light on the Inqa (Inca) world. These writings followed more than a decade of negotiations and skirmishes between Inqa rebels and Spanish officials who were receiving their orders from Spain to find a diplomatic, or alternatively violent, solution to integrate these independently governed territories under Spanish colonial rule.
From 1865–1866, William James accompanied the director of the recently established Museum of Comparative Zoology on a research expedition to Brazil. This volume is a critical, bilingual (English–Portuguese) edition of his diaries and letters and also includes reproductions of his drawings. This original material belongs to the Houghton Archives at Harvard University and is of great interest to both William James scholars and Brazilian studies experts.
The Other Latinos addresses an important topic: the presence in the United States of Latin American and Caribbean immigrants from countries other than Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Focusing on the Andes, Central America, and Brazil, the book brings together essays by a number of accomplished scholars, hoping that this introductory work will inspire others to construct a more complete understanding of the realities of Latin American migration into the United States.
Widely considered the best-connected journalist in Central America, Stephen Kinzer personally met and interviewed people at every level of the Somoza, Sandinistas and Contra hierarchies, as well as dissidents, heads of state, and countless ordinary citizens. Blood of Brothers is Kinzer’s dramatic story of the centuries-old power struggle that burst into the headlines in 1979 with the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship, as well as a vibrant portrait of the Nicaraguan people.
The renowned anthropologist and human rights advocate David Maybury-Lewis saw the Latin American frontiers as relatively unknown physical spaces as well as unexplored academic “territory.” The authors examine the narrative forms that stirred or rationalized expansion, and emphasize their impact on the native residents. The essays suggest a view of nationalism as a theoretical concept and of frontier expansion as a historical phenomenon.
Poverty and Poverty Alleviation Strategies in North America is a dialogue about poverty in North America, especially in Mexico and the United States. In this book, twelve poverty scholars in Mexico and the United States contribute to the understanding of the roots of poverty and build knowledge about effective policy alleviation strategies.
Is Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution under Hugo Chávez truly revolutionary? Some see the president as the shining knight of twenty-first-century socialism, while others see him as an avenging Stalinist strongman. Despite passion on both sides, the Chávez government does not fall easily into a seamless fable of emancipatory or authoritarian history. A range of distinguished authors consider the nature of social change in contemporary Venezuela and explore a number of themes that help elucidate the sources of the nation’s political polarization.
The transformation of the Cuban economy over the last decade is only likely to accelerate. In this edited volume, prominent Cuban economists and sociologists present a clear analysis of Cuba’s economic and social circumstances and suggest steps for Cuba to reactivate economic growth and improve the welfare of its citizens.
Why do some export activities succeed while others fail? Here, research teams analyze export endeavors in Latin American countries to learn how export pioneers are born and jump-start a process leading to economic transformation. Case studies range from blueberries in Argentina and flowers in Colombia to aircraft in Brazil and software in Uruguay.
Jorge Mario Múnera is renowned in Colombia as one of the most prolific and influential photographers of his generation. Portraits of an Invisible Country comprises a book of essays on his diverse body of work and sixteen photo posters, which together highlight his travels in Colombia and his careful depiction of his countrymen and women.
In the twelve essays in Reflections on Memory and Democracy, an interdisciplinary group of contributors explores legacies of authoritarian political regimes noted for repression and injustice, questioning how collective experiences of violence shape memory and its relevance for contemporary social and political life in Latin America.
Cuba has long been a social policy pioneer, with ambitious policies to address health care, education, employment, the environment, and social inequalities. Yet facing severe economic challenges, the government may look to learn from its Latin American neighbors. Social Policies and Decentralization in Cuba analyzes these issues in depth.