The Global Political Economy of Ra�l Prebisch  book cover
1st Edition

The Global Political Economy of Ra�l Prebisch

ISBN 9781138219779
Published March 7, 2017 by Routledge
218 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Global Political Economy of Raúl Prebisch offers an original analysis of global political economy by examining it through the ideas, agency and influence of one of its most important thinkers, leaders and personalities. Prebisch’s ground-breaking ideas as an economist – the terms-of-trade thesis and the economic case for state-led industrialization – changed the world and guided economic policy across the global South. As the head of two UN bodies – the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and later the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) – he was at the frontline of key North–South political struggles for a fairer global distribution of wealth and the regulation of transnational corporations.

Prebisch increasingly came to view political power, not just economic capabilities, as pivotal to shaping the institutions and rules of the world economy. This book contextualizes his ideas, exploring how they were used and their relevance to contemporary issues. The neoliberal turn in economics in North America, Western Europe and across the global South led to an active discrediting of Prebisch’s theories and this volume offers an important corrective, reintroducing current and future generations of scholars and students to this important body of work and allowing a richer understanding of past and ongoing political struggles.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

Notes on contributors

Foreword by Edgar J. Dosman


List of abbreviations


Introduction: the global political economy of Raúl Prebisch

Matias Margulis



Prebisch as architect and theorist of the global political economy

1 Development through tighter economic integration: how might Prebisch size up some trends and issues thus far into the twenty-first century?

P. Sai-wing Ho

2 Thinking globally from the periphery: Raúl Prebisch and the world system

Andrés Rivarola Puntigliano

3 Raúl Prebisch and the theory of regional economic integration

José Briceño Ruiz

4 The Latin American origins of Bretton Woods

Eric Helleiner



Power and resistance in the global political economy

5 Raúl Prebisch and the historical roots of the current movement against corporate-led globalisation

Robin Broad and Zahara Heckscher

6 From Palais de Nations to Centre William Rappard: Raúl Prebisch and UNCTAD as sources of ideas in the GATT/WTO

Erin Hannah and James Scott

7 The West remains on top, economically and politically

Robert H. Wade



Diagnosing structural change in the global political economy

8 A changing role for agriculture in global political economy? Brazil’s rise as an agro-power

Kristen Hopewell

9 Back to the future reloaded: Latin America’s development strategy during the commodity boom

Esteban Pérez Caldentey and Matías Vernengo

10 Rául Prebisch and the terms of trade: how things have changed….

Raphael Kaplinsky and Masuma Farooki

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Matias E. Margulis is Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Stirling, UK. A former Canadian delegate to the WTO, OECD and United Nations agencies, his research focuses on global governance, international trade and human rights. Recent publications include 'Canada at the G8 and UN Committee on World Food Security: forum-shifting in global food security governance' (Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 2015), 'Trading Out of the Global Food Crisis? The WTO and the Geopolitics of Food Security' (Geopolitics, 2014) and Land Grabbing and Global Governance (2014, edited with Nora McKeon and Saturnino Borras, Jr.).