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Evangelizing the State: Mennonite Brethren Technocrats in Paraguayan State Reform, 2003-2008


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20791

Evangelizing the State: Mennonite Brethren Technocrats in Paraguayan State Reform, 2003-2008

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dc.contributor.author Thompson, Warren
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-03T16:08:55Z
dc.date.available 2012-07-03T16:08:55Z
dc.date.issued 2012-07-03
dc.date.submitted May 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20791
dc.description.abstract Nicanor Duarte Frutos assumed the Presidency of Paraguay in August 2003 amidst the country’s worst financial crisis since the end of the dictatorship. With low revenues, depleted reserves, and an inheritance of defaulted debts, he had little choice but to turn to international financial institutions when he took office in August 2003. To negotiate IMF and World Bank loans, as well as to orchestrate the reforms and implement the structural adjustments that would inevitably come with it, Nicanor Duarte turned to a small group of technocrats outside his ruling Colorado Party. The technocrats in the Nicanor administration were not the “Chicago Boys”-style monetarists that that occupied so many other Latin American cabinets, but members of a the Mennonite Brethren, a remarkably insular religious sect known for its traditional distrust of the political arena. How should this departure be explained? Why, in light of a literature that posits technical expertise as the key to appointment in Latin American economic ministries, would Nicanor consider religious criteria in making his appointments? And why, in light of religious dicta that discourage political involvement, would these Mennonites accept? This thesis argues that in some cases, an appeal to expert knowledge may be an inadequate source of a technocrat’s legitimacy. Because laypersons are prone to explain economic and political crises in moral and intentional terms rather than instrumental terms, presidents may appeal to the moral aspects of their technocratic appointments in situations where domestic actors hold considerable power. However, as this study concludes, this strategy has its own potential dangers. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship UNM Latin American and Iberian Institute; UNM Graduate and Professional Association en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject technocracy, state reform, Mennonites, Paraguay, Nicanor Duarte en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Church and state -- Paraguay -- 21st century
dc.subject.lcsh Paraguay -- Economic policy -- 21st century
dc.subject.lcsh Mennonites -- Paraguay -- Political activity -- 21st century
dc.title Evangelizing the State: Mennonite Brethren Technocrats in Paraguayan State Reform, 2003-2008 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Sociology en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of Sociology en_US
dc.description.advisor Schrank, Andrew
dc.description.committee-member Wood, Richard
dc.description.committee-member Field, Les

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