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Raúl Delgado Wise and Henry Veltmeyer

Latin American contributions to development theory have left an indelible mark on the field of development studies, giving it a more critical edge. These contributions relate not just to the vibrant debates on the development question, but to the activism of social movements and a history of experimentation with diverse forms and models of development. In many ways, Latin American thinkers and practitioners have been rebels to the Northern, occidental, mainstream development route boosted by the US and the international financial institutions. Since the post-war period, development and social change in the region have followed a distinctive and critical path in search of avenues to overcome – and transcend – Latin America’s asymmetrical and subordinated integration into the world capitalist system. The aim of this chapter is to assess that process from a critical perspective, in an attempt to envision what could be regarded as the Latin American legacy in the field.