Friday, April 05, 2013

Jorge Dominguez talk

Jorge Dominguez came and gave a talk today on campus. He had a discussion framed as whether U.S. policy toward Latin America was irrelevant. He used that as a sort of provocative frame, but in fact wasn't really trying to argue that U.S. policy didn't matter. Instead, he was noting how in many ways U.S. policy achieves its stated goals quite well when there is less policy. In that regard he used the example of the U.S. working with Brazil and allowing it to take the lead in Haiti. He also mentioned the policy under Thomas Shannon to stop talking about Hugo Chávez.

In short, not doing things is often a good idea. Scholars of Latin America won't be too surprised by this assertion, but it bears repeating (especially with plenty of students in the audience, many of whom were unfamiliar with the examples he was giving). Let's do less!


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