Economics and Politics

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Reports

LASA Economics and Politics Section
Annual Report 2021

Date: 14 July 2021

1. Leadership

The leadership team took over in June 2020 for the 2020-2022 term. We will call elections in January 2022.

Chair: Fabrício H. Chagas-Bastos (University of Copenhagen)

Secretary and Treasurer: Joseph Marques (Webster University, Geneva)

Executive Committee:

  • Barbara Fritz (Freie Universitët Berlin)
  • Ivani Vassoler (State University of New York, Fredonia)
  • Anthony Spanakos (past Chair; Montclair State University)
  • Renato Lima-de-Oliveira (Asia School of Business)
2. Membership and Treasury

The section currently has 90 members (as of June 2020). Total membership decreased from 116 members (2018) and 128 members (2017). These are difficult times and many of our colleagues are facing several challenges. We trust, nonetheless, that our efforts at reaching new members will limit any additional drop in membership.

The treasurer reports a balance of USD 4624.41, and a membership income of USD 635 as of June 2020. In the term 2020-2021 our expenses were:

  • Best Book Award: USD 300
  • econopolitics podcast (2020 & 2021 seasons): USD 546.99  
3. Panels sponsored

Based on our membership size in December 2019 (due to COVID19 and the cancellation of the 2020 LASA Annual Conference), the section was entitled to sponsor 2 panels at the 2021 LASA Annual Conference (refer to Conference Program for further details).

  • Broken Presidentialism? The Faces of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazilian Politics
  • The political economy of Latin American cities: Unleashing the potential of local governments to promote economic growth and social inclusion

Also, we joined efforts with the Culture, Power and Politics Section to co-sponsor the panel:

  • Pink Tides, Right Turns: Towards a New Authoritarian State?
4. Prizes and Grants

The 2021 section awards considered scholarship published between January 2020 and January 2021. As approved in 2020, for the first time the section had a Best Book Award.

Due to the virtual nature of the conference, no travel grants were awarded this year.

The Prize Committee decided to not award any prize to the Best Article Award.

The 2021 Best Book Award Committee awarded its prize to Gabriel Ondetti’s “Property Threats and the Politics of Anti-Statism: The Historical Roots of Contemporary Tax Systems in Latin America” published by Cambridge University Press.

The Committee also decided to award an Honourable Mention to Diego Sánchez-Ancochea’s “The Costs of Inequality in Latin America: Lessons and Warnings for the Rest of the World” published by Bloomsbury.

Beyond the monetary symbolic prize (300 USD), the Journal of Latin American Studies agreed to publish a review of the winning book of the year.

We thank the members for their service on the prize committees.  

5. Summary of the 2021 E+P Section business meeting

May 29, 2021, 11:00am - 12:45 pm (EST) via ZOOM

Our audience consisted of 12 people.

The Business Meeting started with the presentation of our balance and membership numbers. Next, the section’s prizes were officially announced (refer to item 4).

We presented the new podcast and video series the section started in 2020 —econopolitics— and the audience numbers.

Likewise in previous years, the issue of outreach was discussed with a general agreement that the section must reach out to department heads, Centres for Latin American Studies, and connect with specialists outside academia. An effort should also be made to attract new members throughout Latin America through the personal contacts of the entire membership. We also discussed the possibility of hosting/facilitating a session/panel with invited speakers who are not currently members of the section.

6. Plans for the 2021-2022 term

Going forward, we propose a very active effort to make the section a much more relevant platform for our membership.

We plan to make greater use of all channels of communication (Google list-serv, social media channels and our own LASA website).

We encourage individual members to share more information regarding their personal research and events at their institutions as well as opportunities for joint projects.

The section will continue to use its YouTube channel and record the podcast engaging with membership and international (including non-academic) specialists as part of our outreach effort.

Elections will be called in January 2022.

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Fabrício H. Chagas-Bastos, Chair
Joseph Marques, Secretary & Treasurer