Many of the hemisphere’s research institutions are focusing on the regional implications of the global economic crisis. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) produced two reports for its March 2009 meeting. Policy Trade-offs for Unprecedented Times, a macroeconomic study, argues that Latin America has withstood the crisis but cautions that the region is highly susceptible if the U.S. economy fails to recover quickly. A complementary report, Social and Labor Market Policies for Tumultuous Times, calls for more social coverage and fewer bottlenecks that affect growth.
The annual report of the Facultad Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), a regional social science organization with members in 17 countries, explores how economics have affected the region’s trend toward integration. Integration in Latin America: Actions and Omissions; Conflicts and Cooperation, written by FLACSO General Secretary Francisco Rojas Aravena and published earlier this year, claims that integration can help countries achieve their political, economic, social, and cultural goals. It also emphasizes the role of government actors, civil society, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals in integrating the region.
On the topic of inequality, the Observatory on Racial Discrimination published Racial Discrimination and Human Rights in Colombia: A Report on the Situation of the Rights of Afro-Colombians in December 2008. The report reveals grim statistics—for example, 14 percent of Afro-Colombians did not eat at least one day per week in 2005—and offers ideas for promoting greater equality.
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