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Albert O. Hirschman on Imitation - Dictionary of Arguments

Krastev I 25
Pseudo-Imitation/Latin America/Hirschman/Krastev: Latin American reformers (...), according to the American social scientist Albert O. Hirschman deployed a sales pitch he labelled ‘pseudo-imitation’.(1) Studying the promotion of economic development in Latin America, Hirschman noted that reformers often deliberately understated the obstacles confronting their reform proposals, pretending that reform involved nothing more complex than copying fully worked-out foreign models,
Krastev I 26
models, as if indigenous conditions and capacities were of trivial importance. They did so in order to ‘sell’ reform efforts to a sceptical public unwilling to approve projects that seemed unfeasible or forbiddingly complex, but that the reformers themselves deemed eminently doable.


1. Albert O. Hirschman, Development Projects Observed (The Brookings Institution, 1967), pp. 21–2.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

PolHirschm I
Albert O. Hirschman
The Strategy of Economic Development New Haven 1958

Krastev I
Ivan Krastev
Stephen Holmes
The Light that Failed: A Reckoning London 2019


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