Borderless borders: U.S. Latinos, Latin Americans, and the by Frank Bonilla

By Frank Bonilla

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Extra info for Borderless borders: U.S. Latinos, Latin Americans, and the paradox of interdependence

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Although the period from the end of the Cold War to the present has seen the rise of free trade and the spread of democratizationtwo elements associated with the modern statethere has been no corresponding improvement in social Page 2 justice. Income inequality and poverty are pervasive throughout the hemisphere. Will interdependence ultimately be accompanied by a decline in disparity, thereby leading to individual economic independence? Or will it instead lead to the disenfranchisement of whole segments of society, which will then become even more dependent on social intervention?

What explains this convergence of interests and research? While a range of factors are at work, including scholars' personal histories and agendas, the basic dynamics are rooted in the very themes explored in this volume. First, economic globalization has meant that "external" events and patterns have a deep impact on domestic policy choices. S. economy and polity in order to understand Latin America development. Now scholars in the United States concerned with the economic situation of Latinos are increasingly aware that international arrangements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will have quite specific effects on the kind of low-wage labor that characterizes the barrios of the United States.

31 Finally, the fourth assumption is that policies of economic openness should permit the mobility of factors of production. In the Americas, however, this assumption has not extended to labor. Under NAFTA, flows of labor are tightly controlled, so that labor markets are far more constrained in their ability to adjust to external pressures. The dislocations created by capital and the de facto movement of people following the trail of jobs have resulted in a vast, clandestine migratory stream. Migrants' vulnerable status makes them the object of economic and political abuse.

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