Together with Humberto Campodónico and Sergio Tezanos Vázquez, I am pleased to introduce this 9th thematic issue of International Development Policy. As editors, we took as a starting point the idea that the diverse development experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean (lac) during the latest commodity price super-cycle offer important insights regarding competing development narratives and strategies, and how the latter translate into policies and practices.

This issue brings together some twenty authors, the majority of whom originate from the lac region. Collectively, their contributions examine the lessons that can be drawn from various experiments related to alternative development models spearheaded in the lac region at the level of ideas, discourses and policies. Drawing on economics, anthropology, law, political science and sociology, the authors bring a rich diversity of perspectives. While most of them come from academia, this issue includes contributions from policy makers, political figures and development practitioners.

Articles in this issue were the subject of lively exchanges during an authors’ workshop held in Geneva in January 2016. This led to a first round of revisions before submitting the collection of articles to an anonymous reviewer who commented on the volume as a whole as well as on individual chapters, leading to a second round of revisions. The guest editors wish to thank the reviewer for substantive comments as well as Theotonio dos Santos, Peter Larsen, Isabelle Schulte-Tenckhoff, Achim Wennmann, and Anida Yupari for critical inputs during the authors’ workshop.

The contributions to this thematic issue are organised in three parts. Following an introduction by the guest editors and a scene-setting interview with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, chapters in Part 1 trace the origins, development and influences of alternative development strategies in Latin America. This is followed by chapters addressing different policy experiments and actual development outcomes, with a look at the role of multilateral development banks and China in the region. The last part examines legal and regulatory developments in relation to social dynamics with a focus on the Andean region, indigenous rights and the role of civil society organisations.

Taken together, the articles in this issue of International Development Policy challenge readers to reconsider the relationship between varied development narratives and ideologies anchored in different knowledge ecologies, the ensuing development policies and practices and their sustainability. Looking at outcomes may lead one to downplay the actual impact of narratives and discourses. Yet, the jury might still be out.

The Editors,

Geneva, Lima and Santander, April 2017


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