Natália Bracarense, North Central College assistant professor of economics, presented two papers at the European Society of the History of Economic Thought conference held Nov. 20-22 in Medellin, Colombia. She was awarded a travel grant to present one of her papers, titled “Raúl Prebisch’s Core and Periphery Analysis: An Evolution Away from a Dichotomous View.”
The competitive grant is given to a select few based on their paper’s quality. That paper focused on Raúl Prebisch, an Argentine economist and father of Latin American structuralism. He introduced the terms center and periphery to economics to elaborate a framework that focuses on the power and influence of the “developed” world in shaping “underdeveloped” countries. This was later replicated by other developing theories, including dependency theorists and world-system analysts. In that regard, development theories divided the world into center and periphery, domination and resistance, exploiters and victims.
Bracarense’s paper investigates the evolving views on the core and periphery to show that Prebisch became aware of the shortcomings of a strictly dualistic framework. While in the 1940s he held a standard structuralist position, by the 1960s Prebisch was led to a more contingent and complex understanding of relationship between center and periphery. Due to political forces, however, Prebisch was unable to push forward his broader understanding of North-South relations.
Bracarense joined North Central’s faculty in fall 2013. She earned a B.A. from Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, an M.A. from Universidade Federal de Uberlandia and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.