The Internationalization of Palace Wars: Lawyers, Economists, and the Contests to Transform Latin American States

Hervé Mesure (Rouen School of Management, Rouen, FranceE‐mail: Herve.Mesure@groupe‐esc‐

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 20 June 2008



Mesure, H. (2008), "The Internationalization of Palace Wars: Lawyers, Economists, and the Contests to Transform Latin American States", Society and Business Review, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 172-173.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The authors are two settled scholars since Yves Delazay is Director of Researches at the CNRS and Professor at the “Centre de Sociologie Européenne” (EHESS) whereas Bryant G. Garth is Dean and Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School. B.G Garth was also the Director of the American Bar Foundation. Dezalay and Garth also published two other books: (1996) Dealing in Virtue: International Commercial Arbitration and the Construction of Transnational Legal Order, University Chicago Press about the American symbolic imperialism and (2002) Global Prescriptions: The Production, Exportation and Importation of a New Legal Orthodoxy, University of Michigan Press. Those three books constitute a king of sociological research program about neoliberal hegemony especially throughout the study of cosmopolitarian elites and the relations between law (throughout professionals such as lawyers) and globalization.

To analyze globalization the two authors focus on Latin America. They show that the exportation of expertise and ideals from United States to Argentina, Brazil, Chicago, Chile and Mexico have played a crucial role in transforming their state forms and economics since World War II. Based on more than 300 extensive interviews with major players in governments, foundations, law firms, universities and think tanks, Dezalay and Garth examine the production of northern exports such as neoliberal model of economics and legal development or human right law. They also analyze the manner those exportations have received south of the USA. They find that the content of what is exported and how it fares are profoundly shaped by domestic struggles for power and influence –“palace wars” – in the nations involved. For instance, challenges to eastern intellectual establishment influenced the Reagan‐era export of University of Chicago‐style neoliberal economics to Chile, where it enjoyed a war reception from Pinochet and his allies because they could use it to discredit the previous regime of Allende. The importance of the local as factors of transformation of ideology whatever its support (legal institution or control management) have been already noticed in the SBR book review section (Ajami et al., 2005). Publishing this book gives a good local illustration and concrete information about the transnational processes that shape the world. It also can be connected to the question of the political and even corporate governances. At last, this book suggests that professional expertise (auditors, lawyers, scholars, etc.) could be a major variable for the business and society field.


Ajami, R., et al. (Eds) (2005), Globalizarion, Management Control & Ideology: Local and Multinational Perspectives, DJOF Publishing, Copenhagen, Society and Business Review, Vol. 1 No. 2, 2006.

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