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Alan Knight, ‘The great depression in Latin America, 1930-1940’

by Gareth Bryant on November 21, 2016

Alan Knight (Oxford University), ‘The great depression in Latin America, 1930-1940’

This is the eighth and final instalment of the semester two seminar series organised by the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, in association with the Institute of Latin American Studies, La Trobe University.


Monday 28 November 2016 (note different day to usual)

Time and location

4.00pm-5.30pm, Darlington Centre Boardroom


Gareth Bryant,


This paper analyses the impact, character and consequences of the Great Depression of the 1930s in Latin America, with a particular emphasis on Mexico. It covers economic, political and social history, noting how the external shock of the Depression had a varied impact on Latin American countries – depending on the ‘commodity lottery’, the ‘subsistence cushion’ and processes of industrialization – and then explores the divergent political and social responses which ensued. Offering comparisons with other region and other global depressions, it concludes that the Latin American experience of the 1930s was – compared, say, to Europe in that decade, or even Latin America in the 1980s – positive and creative, the source of symbols and policies that would endure for decades.

About the speaker

Alan Knight is Professor Emeritus of the History of Latin America at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Antony’s College. He works on 20th century Latin America, chiefly Mexico, with a focus on revolutions, state-building, and foreign relations/imperialism. He is the author of The Mexican Revolution; Repensar la Revolución Mexicana; La Revolución Cósmica; two volumes of a general history of Mexico as Mexico: From the Beginning to the Spanish Conquest and Mexico: The Colonial Era; Revolución, Democracia y Populismo en América Latina; and The Mexican Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.

Full Political Economy seminar schedule

All welcome!


Gareth Bryant
Gareth Bryant is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

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