About the Conference

Conference Participants

Panel I U.S. - Mexican Economic Integration

Panel II Polocies for A New Social Agenda

Conference Staff

Video & Audio Highlights

Center for Latin American Studies Homepage

About the Conference

The Center for Latin American Studies at U.C. Berkeley hosted a historic conference entitled "Alternatives for the Americas: A Dialogue," bringing together leading figures from the United States, Mexico, Central and South America for a public forum on December 4, 1998 and a series of working meetings on December 5, 1998.

In recent years, economic integration and globalization have swept the Americas, emerging as key forces shaping social relations and defining powerful new challenges. Democratic reforms and new economic strategies have fueled increased economic interdependence, producing ambitious growth rates and rising productivity. Yet, the current global economic turmoil underscores how fragile some of these gains may be. Moreover, issues of income polarization and poverty, seemingly intractable in good economic times, are even more of a problem in battered economies.

While current attention is riveted on the global economic crisis, intense debates continue throughout Latin America concerning strategies to spur economic growth while addressing widening gaps in the distribution of wealth. In the United States, globalization has sparked debates over trade, labor rights, and the environment.

In an era of ever-increasing interdependence, it is impossible to seriously define either Latin American or U.S. alternatives without considering the growing linkages throughout the region. This conference offers an important forum for that exploration.

The participants represent a range of political affiliations and policy perspectives. All, however, share a commitment to the exploration of alternatives, and a conviction that measures to ensure economic fairness are ultimately indispensable to economic expansion.

The Center plans to make "Alternatives for the Americas: A Dialogue" an annual event.

--Angelina Snodgrass

Press Coverage

Article in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Pinochet, Sovereignty and Justice"

Article in the Berkeleyan:
"Improving Relations with Latin America: Politicians and Scholars from Both Hemispheres Discuss Economic, Social Issues"