Global History Workshop | Book Talk - “The World That Latin America Created: The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America in the Developmental Era"

Event date: 
February 9, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:20pm
Margarita Fajardo
Sarah Lawrence College
Seminar Series: 
Global History Workshop

Book Talk | “The World That Latin America Created: The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America in the Developmental Era"

Margarita Fajardo, Sarah Lawrence College

Location: 210 Dickinson Hall & Zoom

This workshop will be offered in hybrid format both on Zoom and in-person. Registration is required to attend in either format. There is no pre-circulated paper for this workshop.

Zoom Registration

In-Person Registration*

*A boxed lunch will be provided to those who register in-person for the workshop. Boxed lunches will be available prior to and after the workshop. We kindly ask that workshop attendees refrain from eating during the workshop.

We kindly ask all in-person attendees please follow the current University Covid-19 guidelines.

Margarita Fajardo is Professor of History at Sarah Lawrence College. Fajardo is the author of The World That Latin America Created: The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America in the Development Era, published in early 2022 by Harvard University Press.  In recent years, she has received fellowships from Duke University’s Center for the History of Political Economy and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her work has been published in the Latin American Research Review and will soon appear in the American Historical Review and in series of edited volumes about the developmental state in Latin America, the Cold War social science and the global social sciences. She is interested in the history of Latin American and global capitalism, as well as the in the history and political economy of ideas, science, and expertise. Fajardo received her Ph.D. in History (2015) from Princeton University under the guidance of Professor Jeremy Adelman.

After the Second World War demolished the old order, a group of economists and policymakers from across Latin America imagined a new global economy and launched an intellectual movement that would eventually capture the world. They charged that the systems of trade and finance that bound the world’s nations together were frustrating the economic prospects of Latin America and other regions of the world. Through the UN Economic Commission for Latin America, or CEPAL, the Spanish and Portuguese acronym, cepalinos challenged the orthodoxies of development theory and policy. Simultaneously, they demanded more not less trade, more not less aid, and offered a development agenda to transform both the developed and the developing world. Eventually, cepalinos established their own form of hegemony, outpacing the United States and the International Monetary Fund as the agenda setters for a region traditionally held under the orbit of Washington and its institutions. By doing so, cepalinos reshaped both regional and international governance and set an intellectual agenda that still resonates today.

Drawing on unexplored sources from the Americas and Europe, Margarita Fajardo retells the history of dependency theory, revealing the diversity of an often-oversimplified movement and the fraught relationship between cepalinos, their dependentista critics, and the regional and global Left. By examining the political ventures of dependentistas and cepalinosThe World That Latin America Created is a story of ideas that brought about real change.

Pablo Pryluka
Area of Interest: 
Economic History