Author Archives: seanburges

Burges on Political Developments in Brazil

ANCLAS Deputy Director Dr Sean Burges spoke to ABC News 24’s afternoon news show on January 26th about the upholding of Lula’s conviction for corruption and its implications for politics in Brazil.

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ANCLAS’s Dr Tracy Fenwick talks to ABC Radio about developments in Argentina

Dr Tracy Fenwick, ANCLAS Senior Associate and Director of ANU’s Australian Centre for Federalism, spoke to ABC News Radio yesterday about political scandal in Argentina and rumours of connections between President Kirchner’s clique and the apparent suicide of a state prosecutor investigating corruption. You can hear the interview here:

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ANCLAS OpEd on Brazil’s Vote this Sunday

ANCLAS Deputy Director Sean Burges and ANU Economics Lecturer Patrick Carvalho have an OpEd in today’s Canberra Times looking at what is at stake in the Brazilian presidential election this Sunday:

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Professor Abraham Lowenthal on democratic transitions and political leadership

We were lucky enough to have Professor Abraham Lowenthal as a visitor at ANU this week. ANCLAS’s Sean Burges was asked to do a short interview with him about his next book, which is a series of interviews with key political leaders in democratic transitions in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

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ANCLAS Business briefing in Melbourne, 12 September 2014

The Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies at the Australian National University and the State Government of Victoria proudly invite you to:


Latin America Business Briefing


A unique opportunity for Australian business to learn more about conditions, opportunities and risks for business in Latin America.


Welcome by: Mr Julian Hill.   Acting Deputy Secretary, Trade, Manufacturing, Aviation & Employment, State Government of Victoria


Our distinguished speakers over lunch will be:


Juan MendozaThe controversies and challenges of mining in Latin America

Professor Mendoza is Director of the Master of Arts in Economics at Universidad del Pacífico in Lima and a member of the University´s Research Center since 2010. He holds a Doctorate and a Master of Arts in Economics from Brown University and a Bachelor of Arts from Universidad del Pacífico. He has been a lecturer at Brown University and a Visiting Professor at Peru´s Central Bank and at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He was a Professor of Economics at the State University of New York. He was member of the board of directors of several Peruvian mining companies between 2006 and 2010.


Robert Funk “Recent political change in Latin America: the case of Chile”

Robert Funk is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Institute for Public Affairs of the University of Chile and Director of the Institute’s Centre for the Study of Public Opinion. Robert is Executive Director of Plural, a public policy think tank. He obtained his PhD in Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr. Funk has consulted on Latin American issues for a variety of government and private sector institutions.


Enrique Dussel Peters “Latin America’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific”

Enrique Dussel Peters is a Professor of Economics at the National Autonomous University in Mexico (UNAM) where he directs the China-Mexico Institute. He is the leading expert on Chinese connections with Latin America.


Supported by Dr John Minns, Director, Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS) at the Australian National University and Dr Sean Burges, Senior Associate at ANCLAS.


Lunch provided.


Where: the Sir Redmond Barry Room, Victorian Government’s Investment Centre,

Level 46, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne


When: 12.30pm – 2.30pm Friday, 12 September


There is no charge however

RSVPs are essential by Friday 5 September:

For more information please contact: or phone +61 2 6125 4697


ANU logo     ANCLAS picture    Victoria


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Registration open — 2014 ANCLAS Conferece — The Asia Pacific-Latin America Nexus

Exploring the Latin America-Asia Pacific Nexus

All day event
9:00am – 5:00pm

The Haydon-Allan Lecture Theatre (The Tank)

The 2014 Latin American and the Shifting Sands of Global Power Conference held by the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS) at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia will explore the extent and nature of the Latin America-Asia Pacific nexus, focusing on the areas of economics, international relations and corruption and governance.

Latin America and the Asia-Pacific have rediscovered each other. In the wake of the global financial crisis, both regions have thrived while traditional economic centres have struggled. This has created a shift in focus, with Latin American businesses and policy makers looking beyond China to include other countries in the Asia-Pacific and vice versa. This growing mutual awareness is reflected in trade, investment and tourism, leading to an enhanced sense of trans-Pacific opportunities.

Conference fee:

            Earlybird (16 August 2014)            Full-time employed: AUD$100
                                                                               Student: AUD$20
            After 16 August 2014                     Full-time employed: AUD$120
                                                                                 Student: AUD$20

For registration and payment via MasterCard and Visa, please follow the link below:
Conference email:

Further details and the program will be posted on the ANCLAS website and the ANCLAS blog as they become available.



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Dollarization days numbered in Ecuador?

In January 2000 Ecuador adopted the US dollar as the national currency in a bid to bring fiscal policy and inflation under control. The country has been coming under increasing balance of payments pressures and is looking for some way to manage the challenge — the problem with dollarization is that you can’t just ‘print’ more dollars if you run short, unless you are the US. Bloomberg wire is reporting that President Rafael Correa has just won approval from Congress for the creation of a type of ‘electronic’ money that can be used for making payments within Ecuador. There is uncertainty about what exactly this means and if it will be used, but one interpretation is that it is the first possible step in a de-dollarization of the Ecuadorian economy.


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Ecuador-Indonesia links to grow?

A report in the Jakarta Post suggests that some specific attention is being given by the Indonesian government to boosting trade and investment ties with Ecuador. Trade is still low, but there seems to be interest in investment and further trade in the energy sector. The story, in English, is here:

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Renewed directions in Peruvian foreign policy

Incoming Peruvian foreign minister Gonzalo Gutiérrez recently gave a television interview mapping out some key priorities for Peruvian foreign policy.

The key points:
–Latin American integration is very important for Peru

–The Pacific Alliance is a critical structure, acting as a ‘trampoline’ for deeper engagement with the Asia-Pacific. The Pacific Alliance process is evolving well and will push new elements of trade regulation harmonization, worker mobility and education going forward.

–Exchange with Asia is critical for Peru’s future and trade agreements are already in place with China, Japan, Korea and Thailand.

–Work is progressing on eliminating Shengen Visa requirements for Peruvians, which the Chancellor takes as a sign that Peru is being seen as an emerging regional power in Latin America that merits the confidence of international partners, in this case specifically the European Union.

–The next big trade agreement priorities highlighted are the Trans-Pacific Partnership and an FTA of some form with India.


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Excellent article on current troubles in Brazil’s Foreign Ministry

Brazilian academic Guilherme Casarões has just published an excellent article on the current troubles in the Brazilian foreign ministry, Itamaraty. It is carried by the Cairo Review of Global Affairs.


Itamaraty has had a bit of a rough year, which has resulted in sustained pillorying in the press, almost substantive criticism in Congress (this is highly unusual), some rather divisive internal arguments, and relations with the presidency that are best described as ‘professional’. Debate on what is going on, why it is happening and where things are headed rages in Brazil. Casarões’s article is one of the best yet (particularly in English) contextualizing the current institutional ructions in Rio Branco’s House. Very worth a read.

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