The Magical State

The Magical State

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In 1935, after the death of dictator General Juan Vicente GA³mez, Venezuela consolidated its position as the world's major oil exporter and began to establish what today is South America's longest-lasting democratic regime. Endowed with the power of state oil wealth, successive presidents appeared as transcendent figures who could magically transform Venezuela into a modern nation. During the 1974-78 oil boom, dazzling development projects promised finally to effect this transformation. Yet now the state must struggle to appease its foreign creditors, counter a declining economy, and contain a discontented citizenry. In critical dialogue with contemporary social theory, Fernando Coronil examines key transformations in Venezuela's polity, culture, and economy, recasting theories of development and highlighting the relevance of these processes for other postcolonial nations. The result is a timely and compelling historical ethnography of political power at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary reflections on modernity and the state.Through dazzling modernizing projects that engendered collective fantasies of progress, the state, personified in Carlos Andres Perez as its ... through the development of the automobile industry during this period of heightened state power and collective expectations.1 THE AUTOMOTIVE ... As politicians and economists debated the uses to which the new financial plenty should be put, the problem seemed to be not a lack of ... Chapter 6 draws ideas from Coronil and Skurski (1982).

Title:The Magical State
Author:Fernando Coronil
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 1997-11-10


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