LASA 2004


























Richard F. Kane

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Illinois State University

Normal, USA,




"Paper prepared for delivery at the 2004 annual meetings of the Latin American Studies Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 7-9, 2004."


In his statement to Kofi Annan at the opening of the 56th session of the UN General Assembly, distinguished sociologist and former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso called the promotion of development a "fundamental imperative" of our time, and stated that terrorism must not be allowed to stifle the debate on cooperation and other issues of global interest (Cardoso 2002:79). Cardoso observed that it is only natural for issues of international security to be given high priority after the attacks on the World Trade Center, since the future requires that the forces of globalization be harnessed in the pursuit of a secure and enduring peace and that is not sustained by fear, but rather by the willing acceptance by all countries of a just international order (Cardoso 2002:79).

By having now replaced the priority of development with that of security, however, Cardoso believes that a new kind of underdevelopment is resulting. "Of course it is very important to look at security, but not instead of development or instead of life conditions" (Cardoso 2004:26). Democracy and a sense of justice are indispensable for globalization and development to be sustainable. For Cardoso, the maxim should be globalization in solidarity rather than the asymmetrical globalization of today (Cardoso 2002:80). Cardoso’s comments can best be understood in terms of the changing notion of development and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.

The sociological reflections Cardoso made about Latin America during his exile to Santiago where he worked under Raúl Prebisch at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) during the late ‘60s have been noted for their early impact on the UN’s changing conception of development (Kane 2004:37-42). Cardoso’s quintessential statement on dependency theory, Dependency and Development in Latin America, which he wrote in Spanish during his tenure at CEPAL, evolved from his research on industrial entrepreneurs in Argentina and Brazil and made it apparent that a continent-wide view of development that looked at regional similarities and differences throughout Latin America was required. This view went beyond a mere recognition of the distinctiveness of Latin American development compared to that of Europe and the United States to consider that key difficulties in Latin American development were in the institutional or political spheres more than in the economy itself.

Although Cardoso is commonly remembered for being a Marxist sociologist, this Weberian critique is perhaps the most critical and controversial point argued in Dependency and Development in Latin America. In making it, Cardoso proposed that the very theory of development used by CEPAL- based on economic growth of the internal market known as hacia adentro-- was in error (Kahl 1976:156).

Today Cardoso remains true to his Marxist convictions by supporting the more comprehensive and dynamic understanding of development that his Weberian critique of CEPAL economists helped to inspire. The new concept of development is one that is based not only on economic growth, but on the inclusion of a more personal, social model of development that reflects a society’s quality of life. Cardoso would obviously be pleased with Bono’s efforts in helping to redescribe the role of the U.N. under Kofi Annan as something everybody can feel engaged with and part of (Bono 2003). If this non-economic developmental model continues to include factors such as housing, sanitation, health, education, inclusiveness in the political process and above all participation, a more positive conception of development will emerge- one with the power to improve global security and inhibit a resurgence of terrorism.

A case study of development initiatives undertaken in Israel, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom by the RAND researchers Peter Chalk and Kim Cragin led to six overall conclusions about the positive effect social and economic development can have in countering a resurgence of terrorism (Chalk & Cragin 2003:ix-xiv).

First, development policies can weaken support for terrorist activities by encouraging the expansion of a new middle class in communities that have traditionally lent support to terrorist groups. In many cases, this section of the population has recognized the economic benefits of peace and worked to inhibit local support for the activities of terrorist groups.

Second, development can discourage terrorist recruits because terrorist organizations draw new members from communities in which terrorism is generally considered a viable response to perceived grievances. Certain groups also offer recruits financial incentives and additional family support. Development policies can help to reduce the pools of potential recruits by reducing their perceived grievances and providing the members of these communities with viable alternatives to terrorism.

Third, inadequately funded social and economic policies are likely to inflate expectations and renew support for terrorism. For development to be effective, it needs to be properly funded according to the relative size, geography and needs of targeted communities. If development initiatives lack sufficient financial support, they are likely to backfire when raised expectations of local communities are not met, thereby triggering resentment and renewed support for terrorist violence.

Fourth, the ability of development policies to inhibit terrorism depends on their implementation. Cragin and Chalk found that the most successful development policies are those which are created in consultation with community leaders, based on needs assessments that address the specific requirements of targeted communities, and that are accompanied by disbursement mechanisms that are non-partisian, non-corrupt and ensure proper fiscal management.

The implementation of development in this context, therefore, requires an open discussion about values, which is necessary to handle diversity in the world and foster not only mutual cooperation, but also the political instruments necessary to amplify the possibility for all to take part in the deliberation process instead of simply having to suffer the consequences of decisions made by others (Cardoso 2004:25-26). For Cardoso, one cannot expect to have a concrete homogeneity in the world, but must recognize the contributions of civil society and the validity of other views (Ruderman 2003). To this extent, Cardoso’s work as chairman of the Secretary-General’s Panel Eminent Persons of on Civil Society and UN Relationships represents one of Brazil’s most outstanding contributions to the field of international development, and has helped make the growth of civil society one of the most significant trends in development in the past 20 years (World Bank 2004:10).

Fifth, social and economic development policies can be used as a "stick" to discourage terrorism, because assistance can be made conditional on the absence of violence, thus discouraging support for terrorists. Overuse of this technique, however, carries the risk of negating the overall positive effect of development policies. For example, Israeli authorities have used this technique so often that it has cost the Palestinian economy more than twice the amount of development aid channeled to the area since 1993. This outcome has caused many Palestinians to view the peace process as detrimental, rather than beneficial, to their interests, welfare, and security.

Finally, social and economic development policies do not eliminate terrorism. Although, when properly implemented, these policies can inhibit terrorism, development alone cannot do away with terrorism altogether. Development is most effective when it is incorporated into a multipronged approach that includes wider political, military, and community-relations dimensions. These qualifications aside, Cragin and Chalk clearly demonstrate that there is a significant potential for development policies to reduce the threat of terrorism and improve security conditions across the globe.

Since the World Trade Center attacks, Cardoso has stated repeatedly that the common denominator for combating terrorism is the same as for promoting development: solidarity (Cardoso 2002:82, 2004:26). After 9-11, Cardoso made it known to the U.N. General Assembly that Brazil was a nation aware of the unique opportunity to mobilize world leaders in the pursuit of international justice, and assured the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that Brazil would do its part to make certain the world did not squander it (Cardoso 2002:79).

Latin American countries responded consistently to the 9-11 attacks in their expressed grief at the loss of human life and coordinated efforts to combat terrorism. Brazil called for a conference of the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (IATRA) was invoked for the first time since its inception in 1947 (Sanin, Hershberg & Hirst 2002:177).

Yet the September attacks coincided with a moment in which hemispheric affairs were exhibiting fragmentation rather than coordination or integration, when instances of subregional cooperation operating independent of U.S. interests were already becoming less frequent. Before September 11, the United States rejected the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gasses, refused to support the International Criminal Court, was nearing rejection the ABM treaty and resisted joint action against tax havens. At the same time, Washington’s inclination to rely on bilateral negotiations with the Southern Cone discouraged efforts to forge a Latin American community. These trends represent a growing risk to Latin America of unilateralism on the part of the United States because such trends can only serve to deepen political fragmentation within the region and reinforce Latin America’s peripheral status in world affairs (Sanín, Hershberg & Hirst 2002:190).

For reasons such as these Cardoso deeply regret the decision of governments that "decided what was needed is to eliminate terrorism themselves, without gaining the broader support of the international community" (Cardoso 2004:26). Cardoso uses the Iraq war to illustrate his point. He notes that in the 21st century it is clearly possible to start a war unilaterally and come out victorious. It is, however, much more difficult to gain peace and develop a nation without the help of the international community and without elements other than security (Cardoso 2004:26).

The mushrooming terrorist insurgency following the declared "end" of the war in Iraq and the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003 also demonstrate that unilateralism and multilateralism are no longer as mutually exclusive as they once seemed. Even though the 9-11 commission confirmed that the terrorist attacks of September 11 were quite separate from the war in Iraq, the bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad effectively eliminated most of that separateness (Boulden & Weiss 2003:xi). Today no one is secure alone. Like the threat of infectious disease, the global security crisis posed by terrorism requires global solutions. It is simply beyond the capability of any actor, even the remaining superpower, to solve threats to global security unilaterally. Thus the case of Iraq demonstrates that the response to transnational security issues necessitates multilateralism.

That unilateralism, therefore, is to blame for the corrosion of solidarity and deterioration of the global community since 9-11 is clear. To be fair, however, this deterioration is also fueled by institutions at the global level that were clearly unable to solve the world’s problems even before 9-11. Prior to 9-11, the Vienna-based Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) of the United Nations (and the only unit in the Secretariat devoted to terrorism) had consisted of only two mid-level professionals (a P-5 and a P-4) (Luck 2004:82). This limited bureaucratic ability was not favorable to the UN playing a more substantial role in the war on terror, and is one reason for the historical penchant of most governments to respond unilaterally to terrorist attacks (Luck 2004).

As President, Cardoso wrote annual letters to the G7 sherpas appealing for more democracy in international relations and calling for the reform of all multilateral institutions because those such as the World Trade Organization, the Bretton Woods Institutions, i.e. the World Bank and its sister organization the International Monetary Fund, and the UN are not sufficient or adequate to enact substantive change (Cardoso 2004:27). For Cardoso, an international order that is based on solidarity is too precious a goal to be left to the vagaries of market forces or the whims of political power; it will only come about through a concerted effort on the part of the community of nations to make multilateral institutions more viable (Cardoso 2002:82). Security in a globalized world depends on the efficacy of global political institutions.

To this end, Cardoso calls for an enlargement of the UN Security Council. In order to reflect the legitimate aspirations of today’s majority, the Security Council composition should no longer be a reflection of arrangements among the victors of a conflict that took place over 50 years ago. Since a strong and agile United Nations is required for the world to respond to increasingly complex problems, common sense would require the inclusion as permanent members those developing countries which meet the necessary credentials to exercise the responsibilities that today’s world has imposed on them (Cardoso 2002:81). To restrict the discussion of issues pertaining to globalization to a group of countries as limited as the G 7/8 should no longer be admissible because the profound impact globalization will have on the political and economic life of emerging economies is inevitable.

Cardoso would, therefore, be pleased with certain recent developments, such as the report of a panel appointed by Kofi Annan set to be issued by year’s end outlining recommended changes in the international body, including the addition of permanent members to UN Security Council. Also, on Tuesday, October 5, 2004, in a statement to business leaders in São Paulo, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Brazil’s candidacy for permanent membership on the UN Security Council (Chicago Tribune 2004:3).

At the 2004 Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco, Cardoso was asked to reflect on the future of neoliberalism and concluded that neoliberalism has no future. Considering that a global political system requires the active participation of strong nation states in order to be viable, and that there is a growing recognition that weak and failed states are the threat that puts security most at risk, Cardoso’s point is well-taken.

The challenge of global development was recently addressed by a bipartisan Commission on Weak States and US National Security, co-chaired by Stuart Eizenstat and former Illinois GOP congressman John Edward Porter. The commission concluded that weak and failed nation states are the threat that puts U.S. national security most at risk. Drawing an analogy to the three legs of a stool, the commission observed that "we have zeroed in on the need to find and destroy terrorists, and we have worked to provide better protection for the American people at home. But we haven't really looked at the third track - how we reach out to even our potential enemies and engage with states that are losing ground in ways that can stop them from becoming a threat to our security" (LaFranchi 2004).

This commission of security experts and congressional leaders agrees that one important way to address the threat of terrorism is through the "soft power" of development assistance- a method that has not received nearly the same consideration as military power even though it is ultimately less expensive in both economic terms and in terms of human life. What is needed, therefore, is an overhaul of US aid and development programs to raise the profile of weak states and to make clear their role in battling terrorism (LaFranchi 2004). Such a move could prove a boon to the Bush administration by highlighting a foreign policy shift away from confrontation back to diplomacy, a post-Iraq inclination some observers say was already on display at the G-8 summit in Atlanta (LaFranchi 2004).
Although the new international order requires nation states to become strong and autonomous, in order to achieve security in global markets, however, they will have to cooperate and accept greater interdependence in political and economic terms as well (Bresser-Pereira 2002:130). For this reason, Cardoso remains a strong supporter of free trade, believes in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and believes that it is very important to world order to have a more efficient World Trade Oganization to assure free trade. What Cardoso is against, however, is asymmetric free trade, which he says is practiced by the United States through its resistance to a South American free trade zone (MERCOSUL) and continued utilization of subsidies on top of unilateral anti-dumping measures (Cardoso 2004:28).

Cardoso says that one only has only to take note of how resistance to free trade is increasing in American public opinion, how the American state intervenes more and more to benefit large businesses, and how the United States is increasing the restrictions on individual liberty in the name of security to see that those concerned with public debate should be more worried about the rise of neoconservativism than with the future of neoliberalism (Cardoso 2004b). From Cardoso’s perspective, now that security has become a kind of obsession for the United States, trade negotiations are losing energy (2004a:28).

Security, however, as a barrier to free trade and development begins to pale in comparison to the dual threat posed by speculation and corruption. For the World Bank, corruption is the single largest obstacle to development (World Bank: 2004). Corruption and speculation can be closely linked because they increase wealth at the expense of society as a whole, leaving the poor to suffer the highest consequences by taking public resources away from those who need them most. This was the case in Brazil before the dramatic collapse in value of the real in 1999, when the Cardoso administration spent billions in hard currency reserves to fight off the risk posed by speculators who threatened to destroy the Brazilian currency and return hyperinflation to economy.

Cardoso has held the opinion of John Maynard Keynes (1936) since he was a graduate student in sociology, that speculative capitalism is not only socially counterproductive, but inherently destructive to free market enterprise (Pompeu de Toledo 1998:97). There are essentially no laws that prevent the currencies of poor countries from being weakened by constant exploitation by speculators; a problem that is exacerbated tremendously by the fact that today technology has driven markets to a near-instantaneous capital gains mentality.

Without the global means to curtail corruption and curb speculation the potential implications are truly explosive, threatening global power arrangements, the sovereignty of nation states, and the ability of ordinary people to survive. Corruption runs rampant throughout the developing world. At the same time, many countries in Asia and Latin America have recently seen their currencies under speculative assault. These factors deprive country’s budgets of massive resources, including those deemed essential for the implementation of social and economic development programs. Cardoso was, therefore, pleased to acknowledge the work of George Soros, who is also working to raise global awareness about the importance of a less corrupt and more stable financial environment (Cardoso 2003:1).

To the extent that the world is globalized, the problems posed by speculation and corruption reflect a lack of political will on a global scale (Cardoso, as quoted in de Toledo 1998:96). "The fact that economy is globalized but politics is not has inflicted losses all over the world, particularly in developing countries" (Cardoso 2003:1). Governments have been unwilling to take on speculators, but a solution must be found soon.

Cardoso acknowledges the possibility of implementing some form of the solution presented by Tobin (1978), whereby the World Bank could collect governmental taxes on short-term capital flows and use them for development (Cardoso 2002:80). Otherwise, Cardoso believes it is important for the IMF to go back to what was proposed by Keynes- that the IMF be the central bank of central banks (Cardoso 2004:27). Keynes proposed replacing the dollar with a common currency in order to prevent liquidity crises. Since this idea was refused, however, by the American government at the beginning, the IMF today has become an instrument primarily focused on solving the problems of creditors instead of solving the problems of developing nations. Therefore, a complete review of the whole system is needed (Cardoso 2004:27).

Cardoso notes that the World Bank's primary mission of poverty alleviation is too broad to be accomplished with the limited amount of resources it as its disposal. What the World Bank has available for global loans is equivalent to what the Brazilian national bank for development has (Cardoso 2004:28). Nevertheless, World Bank Group President James D. Wolfensohn believes there is a reasonable chance that by 2015 they will achieve the goal of halving poverty (Wolfensohn 2004a).

On Sunday, October 3, however, Wolfensohn echoed this alarm over the growing preoccupation with security and the threat it now poses to poverty and global development. In his 2004 address to the World Bank 2004 Annual Meetings titled "Securing the 21st Century," Wolfensohn notes the recent developments that have caused us question our basic humanity. "Bloody wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and large parts of Africa. Unspeakable genocide and killing in Darfur. Despicable acts of terror in Bali and Madrid. Growing violence between Israel and Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank. In Beslan, we have seen children taken hostage and shot in the back. In Baghdad, innocent men are brutally beheaded on television" (Wolfensohn 2004b).

As a result of this, Wolfensohn states, we have become preoccupied with security. "It is absolutely right that, together, we fight terror. We must. The danger, however, is that in our preoccupation with immediate threats, we lose sight of the longer-term and equally urgent causes of our insecure world: poverty, frustration, and lack of hope" (Wolfensohn 2004b).

Cardoso thinks that Wolfensohn is an interesting figure who is doing a good job trying to reduce the enormous bureaucracy a country has to contend with in order to deal with the World Bank. This is important because the slowness of the bureaucracy makes the pace of decisions by the World Bank incompatible with the needs of developing countries (Cardoso 2004:28). Cardoso notes that issues of development have been key in the World Bank’s decision to shift its commitment from giving loans for infrastructure to giving loans for programs that benefit people, such as education. Not that people are more important than infrastructure, however. For Cardoso, as we have seen, both are important.

I agree with Wolfensohn that whether we are comfortable with this identity or not, we are today all citizens of the world, and that active and visible engagement between ourselves and global political leadership is needed to make the breakthroughs required to ensure a future of real security and peace (Wolfensohn 2004b). It is my sincere hope that current world leaders will recognize and follow the vital recommendations of a statesman as experienced, trustworthy and honorable as Fernando Henrique Cardoso.






































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