Networks of power: central bankers in Latin America
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
International Sociological Association (ISA) Forum of Sociology
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
In the course of neoliberal reform, the idea that the authorities responsible for piloting and regulating the economy must have ?economic neutrality,? has become a dominant theme ? in the case of monetary authorities it has become the rule. In the 1990s, all Latin American governments except Brazil implemented independent central banks. An important part of the new central bank legislation was ?operational autonomy? and ?political independence to design monetary policy?.
Conditional lending practices and political pressure from the international finance institutions in Washington and the regional development banks were crucial for adopting the reform. Domestic political elites were another driving force. They sought to insulate the central bank (and other key economic institutions) from the politics of bargaining. But there is something else too: Central bankers themselves actively guided the institutional change. These individuals have been represented as specially trained experts and independent technocrats with no ties to political forces. This disguises the fact that central bankers have been intimately involved in, and often profited directly from, neoliberal transformation.
While there is now a set of studies on the transnational community of Central Bankers and the transformation in post-communist EU accession states, Latin American actors are still under-researched. In my contribution I present the preliminary results from a study about training routes and career paths of central bankers in selected countries. Particular importance is likely to attach to their involvement in think tank networks and transnational/regional policy and lobby groups. The study is part of a broader research project on transnational discourse coalitions and think tank networks. Aim is to further an actor-centered analysis of the relationship of institutions, knowledge and power in globalization processes.