Ecuador: An Andean Enigma

1st Edition

David W. Schodt

Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 206 Pages
ISBN 9780367006280 - CAT# K402959

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A country often neglected in discussions of Latin America, Ecuador offers intriguing insights into the interwoven patterns of continuity and change characteristic of the region. In this introduction to Ecuador, Dr. Schodt begins with a discussion of culture and geography—especially critical for understanding this country, where the physical partitioning by the Andes has had profound economic and political consequences and where cultural and linguistic differences further divide the population. The author then considers Ecuador's early history, emphasizing the importance of patterns imposed by regionalism and structured by the nation's colonial heritage. This leads to a discussion of the cacao and banana booms—and of the consequences of these periods of economic bonanza for domestic politics—that focuses on the expansion of the electorate and the emergence of two competing populist movements. In the final chapters, Dr. Schodt examines the political and economic implications of the petroleum boom, emphasizing the growing role of the state in the Ecuadorian economy. This analysis of the petroleum period concludes with a discussion of Ecuador's prospects for the future, taking account of the conjuncture of the dramatic increase in Ecuador's external indebtedness that took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the election in 1984 of a government committed to reversing the growth of state intervention in the economy, and the sharp decline in 1986 in the world price of petroleum.

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