Reinventing the State

Economic Strategy and Institutional Change in Peru
Carol Wise
The first comprehensive political economic overview of Peru in over two decades


The political economic history of Latin America in the post-World War II era has largely been one of underachievement and opportunities lost. This all changed with the wave of market reforms that were implemented in the 1990s. The precise role of these reforms as an agent of change, however, is still hotly debated. Carol Wise's in-depth analysis of the Peruvian case argues for an explanation that treats institutional innovation and state reconstruction as necessary conditions for the apparent success of the market in Latin America.

Exploring how state intervention has been both the cause of Latin America's economic downfall in the 1980s and the solution to its recovery over the past decade, Reinventing the State analyzes three main phases of state intervention: developmentalism (until 1982), the state in retreat (1980s), and the streamlined state of the 1990s. Through a comprehensive examination of the Peruvian experience, the book explains the country's impressive turnaround from the standpoint of institutional modernization and internal state reform.

Written for a broad academic audience, the pubic policy community, and the private sector, Reinventing the State is also meant as a quick primer for any journalist, consultant, or private sector analyst en route to Peru or Latin America and in need of an overview of the region's market reform effort and how it has played out in Peru.

Carol Wise is Associate Professor, School of International Relations, University of Southern California. She specializes in political economy issues as they relate to the development process in Latin America, with a focus on Argentina, Mexico, and Peru. She has written on trade integration, exchange rate politics, and the political economy of state reform in the region. Her edited books include Post-Reform Stabilization in Latin America: Competition, Transition, Collapse; Exchange Rate Politics in Latin America; and The Post-NAFTA Political Economy: Mexico and the Western Hemisphere. Professor Wise is currently coauthoring a book with Manuel Pastor entitled Twenty Years After: The Politics of Economic Transformation in Mexico.

Praise / Awards

  • "It is increasingly evident that neither the state nor the market alone can solve the complex problems underlying underdevelopment. This rigorous and insightful study of the Peruvian experience provides a rare merging of both perspectives, focusing on the key reinforcing role that the state plays in the market reform process. Its lessons extend well beyond Peru's borders and will be of great value to development practitioners and academics alike."
    —Carol Graham, The Brookings Institution
  • "Carol Wise's book is at once a study of Peru and a larger inquiry into the contemporary international economy. It is a work of genuine talent. All the great, big themes in today's policy and academic discussions—populism and its retreat, the neoliberal model and its ways, globalization, states abandoning the 'commanding heights' in favor of market forces—are here in this splendid book. By the time Carol Wise has taken the reader from the historical legacy of the Peruvian state, through the 1970s, up to the rise and fall of Fujimori over the course of the last decade, she has brought forth a rich, vibrant, superbly researched book. This is the kind of work that holds up to the light of scrutiny such discussions as globalization, and the role of the state."
    —Fouad Ajami, The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, author of The Dream Palace of the Arabs
  • "Reinventing the State should become the standard for political economy analysis in Latin America and elsewhere. Carol Wise's study of Peru over recent decades is scrupulous, sophisticated, and illuminating. It will be of immense value to scholars and policymakers alike."
    —Michael Shifter, Inter-American Dialogue
  • "Wise offers an abundance of valuable information and insights, develops intriguing arguments, and writes in a lucid and accessible style. . . . Scholars interested in the political economy of Peru or Latin America will likely find the entire text worthwhile. The more general and contemporary chapters should also appeal to a broader audience."
    Perspectives on Politics
  • ". . . an important and timely contribution to the study of the political economy of state modernisation in emerging economies. It is an admirably written and coherently structured study on the causes and consequences of the reform of the state (or lack thereof) in Peru, and more generally in Latin America. . . . Reinventing the State is undoubtedly essential reading for all those seeking to understand and influence the dynamics of state reform and modernisation in contemporary Peru."
    —Carlos Santiso, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Studies, Public Administration and Development, August 2003

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Copyright © 2003, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 304pp.
  • 19 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2003
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11316-3

Add to Cart
  • $89.95 U.S.

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