Neoliberalism and Elite Democracy in Ecuador (1981-2007)

  •  Ricardo Restrepo Echavarría    


This paper synthesizes the political economy of neoliberal elite democracy as a general trend and marks out its concrete historical manifestation in one of its more committed followers, Ecuador, from 1981 to 2007. As the American continent turned toward democracy, it also turned to neoliberal reforms. The neoliberal reforms espoused were performed under the theory of the primacy of personal security and property rights, the securement of which would lead to economic growth, leading to the benefit of society as a whole. The actual policies implemented, however, violated the personal security and property rights of many, while increasing inequality and promoting slow growth. A democracy that rules by formal elections to accumulate capital in elites without regard to truth and justice is an elite democracy. Elite democracy was the chosen politics of neoliberalism and neoliberalism was the chose economics of elite democracy. This paper provides a synthetic panoramic view of the history of the rise and life of neoliberalism and elite democracy in Ecuador, starting with the death of Ecuador’s first president of its current democratic era, continuing with the measures that lead to the steep accumulation of public debt for the gain of a few in the 1980’s, and the deregulation of the banking sector and transfer of its losses to the public in the 1990’s and the beginning of the Century, while growth lagged but inequality and political instability accentuated.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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