Learning from the Latins: Political and economic transition in Latin America and South Africa

"While no one country ever provides a perfect model for another, it is nonetheless valuable to contrast the experiences and expectations of South Africa with those of various Latin American countries. The diversity among these states provides an opportunity to not only compare the performance of each with South Africa, but also to assess their transition in relation to each other. While there are few simple prescriptions available, a comparative analysis is important for what it can tell us, in general terms, about the process of transition. South Africans need to understand precisely what democratic and economic reform are capable of achieving, and Latin America is a strikingly good place to observe these constraints."