This article focuses on the incorporation of the social into the economic development discourse(s) of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL). Since its inception, CEPAL has played an important role in the region. In the postwar period, CEPAL helped to develop the theoretical justification for the import-substituting industrialisation (ISI) then sweeping the region. In response to the dismantling of ISI in the 1980s, CEPAL developed its neo-structuralist alternative. It is argued that the eventual incorporation of a social dimension into its neo-structuralist discourse occurred in response to the shifts in the global universe of social policy discourse as well as the failure of neo-liberal structural adjustment to deliver the promised benefits, documented by CEPAL’s Social Development Division.

International organisations, Latin America, neo-structuralism, social development, travelling ideas
Global Social Policy
School of Public Policy and Administration

Mahon, R. (2015). Integrating the social into CEPAL’s neo-structuralist discourse. Global Social Policy, 15(1), 3–22. doi:10.1177/1468018114536644