SURCLA (Sydney University Research Community for Latin America) seminar | The puzzle of Panamanian exceptionalism
The puzzle of Panamanian exceptionalism
Dr James Loxton (University of Sydney)
Thursday 2 November 2023, 5–6:30pm AEDT (Sydney time)
In-person: SLC Common Room 536, Brennan MacCallum Building A18, University of Sydney
Online: Join via Zoom
In the three decades since the US invasion that overthrew the dictatorship of General Manuel Noriega, Panama has undergone a remarkable transformation. It has remained a stable democracy in an age of democratic backsliding, and its economy has grown faster than that of any other country in Latin America. It is today one of the richest countries in the region and is considered by the UN to be a case of “very high” human development. These accomplishments have not only received little outside attention but have also occurred in ways that defy conventional wisdom about democratisation and economic development in startling ways. This talk examines Panama’s rise and highlights four especially puzzling features: 1) it is a rare case of democratisation by military invasion; 2) it is home to an extremely unlikely case of authoritarian successor party regeneration; 3) it is a standout instance of effective resource management by a state-owned enterprise; and 4) it has achieved rapid economic development despite very high levels of corruption.
About the speaker
Dr James Loxton is a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the University of Sydney. His research examines authoritarian regimes, democratisation, and political parties, with a focus on Latin America. He is the award-winning author of Conservative Party-Building in Latin America: Authoritarian Inheritance and Counterrevolutionary Struggle (Oxford University Press, 2021). He holds a PhD in Government from Harvard University.
For more information and RSVP for in-person attendance:
Dr Vek Lewis (email@example.com)