Business History in Latin America: A Historiographical Perspective

In this survey of the trajectory of Latin American business history, the focus is on its development over the course of the past twenty years, when the discipline began to be recognized as a field of specialization within historical studies. The first section is a consideration of the origins of business history in Latin America, from the 1960s to 1985. The second section, covering 1985 to the present, is an analysis of the institutionalization of Latin American business history as research expanded and practitioners in the field began to adopt a more professional approach to their work. In the third section, the focus is on the topics that have attracted the most attention during the previous two decades, identifying research trends that have transcended national differences as well as some notable traits of Latin American business. The last section, a consideration of how Latin America can contribute both to business history and to comparative studies, concludes with proposals for a new research agenda.