Victor Bulmer-Thomas

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Victor Bulmer-Thomas CMG OBE is a British academic who has specialised in Latin America and the Caribbean. Born in London, his first experience of the Americas was as a V.S.O. in Belize (1966/7), where he taught several of the current leaders of the country. He studied at New College, Oxford University for his undergraduate degree, where he obtained a first. In 1975 he graduated with a PhD from St Antony's College, Oxford, with an original dissertation on Costa Rica where he pioneered the concept of constructing databases from primary sources and applying them to Latin American economic history. While at university, he became involved in left-wing student politics.

Academic career[edit]

Early years in Scotland[edit]

His first academic post was at the Fraser of Allander Institute for Research on the Scottish Economy at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He was one of the first to be appointed to this new Institute, where he worked with a team of economists building a model of the Scottish economy that required the construction of an input-output model. While at the Institute, he also worked as a consultant to the Moroccan government. where he applied his knowledge and use of input-output tables.

His first published works were on the Scottish economy, including a study of the household savings rate and the Scottish balance of payments on the eve of oil production. However, his experience in the field of input-output analysis (he also built an input-output table for Guatemala) led to the publication of his first book with a foreword by the Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief (Input-Output Analysis for Developing Countries: Sources, Methods and Applications, 1982).

London[edit]

He moved from Scotland in 1978 to take up a post as Lecturer in Development Economics at Queen Mary College (now Queen Mary) at London University. Here he undertook research on Latin America and was nvited to take part in a study group on Latin America in the 1930s. Working on Central America, he found it necessary to construct the national accounts for the five countries of the region from 1920 onwards. This led to the publication in 1987 of The Political Economy of Central America since 1920.

He was the guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Latin American Studies on Central America published in 1983, and he joined the editorial board in 1984 – a post he held without interruption for 25 years. From 1986–97 he was also editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies. In 1988 he launched a Masters in Economics with special reference to Latin America at Queen Mary, which attracted many students from the region.

In 1988 he became Reader in Economics of Latin America, the first person to hold that title in the United Kingdom, and in 1990 he was promoted to Professor of Economics. Two years later, he became the Director of London University's Institute of Latin American Studies, although he remained attached to Queen Mary. During his six years as Director, the Institute flourished and received a 5* (the highest ranking) in the Research Assessment Exercise. It was during this time as Director that he published his best known book The Economic History of Latin America since Independence.[1] This has now been translated into Spanish, Japanese and Chinese and went into a second edition in 2003. While Director, he received honours from the governments of Brazil and Colombia as well as an OBE from the British government in recognition of his role in building up the reputation of the Institute.

He retired as Director in 1998, but remained on the staff of the Institute of Latin American Studies as Senior Research Fellow. It was during this time that he began to take an interest in the economic history of the Caribbean. However, this research was interrupted when he became the Director of Chatham House, the London home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 2001.Whilst at Chatham House, he introduced the Chatham House Prize, an annual award presented to a leading international statesperson. He supervised the first award in 2005 and, importantly, set the template that has ensured its ongoing success. Having by then published 20 books as sole author or editor, including the two volume Cambridge Economic History of Latin America, he was content to let research take a back seat while he concentrated on reviving the fortunes of Chatham House. He stepped down as Director of Chatham House in 2006, receiving a CMG from the British government in recognition of his achievements.

After leaving Chatham House at the end of 2006, he became a Visiting Professor at Florida International University where he worked on an economic history of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars. He is also Professor Emeritus of London University, Senior Distinguished Fellow of the School of Advanced Studies at London University, Honorary Research Fellow of the University's Institute for the Study of the Americas and Associate Fellow at Chatham House and a Director of the New India Investment Trust and the Caribbean Foundation. He is married to Barbara Swasey from Belize (they have been married 40 years now, since 1970) and they have three children. His hobbies include playing quartets, underwater photography, kayaking, walking and tennis.

Publications[edit]

Books and monographs[edit]

  • The Economic History of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012
  • (with Barbara Bulmer-Thomas), The Economic History of Belize: from 17th Century to Post-Independence, Cubola, Belize, 2012
  • (editor with John Coatsworth and Roberto Cortés Conde), The Economic History of Latin America, "Vol. 1. The Colonial Era and the Short 19th Century", Cambridge University Press (2006)
  • (editor with John Coatsworth and Roberto Cortés Conde), The Economic History of Latin America, "Vol. 2. The Long 20th Century", Cambridge University Press (2006)
  • (editor), Regional Integration in Latin America and the Caribbean: the Political Economy of Open Regionalism, ILAS, 2001
  • (editor with James Dunkerley), The United States and Latin America: the New Agenda, ILAS and Harvard University, 1999
  • (editor), Integración Regional en Centroamérica, San José, FLACSO, 1998
  • Reflexiones sobre la Integración Centroamericana, Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, 1997
  • (editor) Thirty Years of Latin American Studies in the United Kingdom; London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1997
  • (editor) The New Economic Model in Latin America and its Impact on Income Distribution and Poverty, Macmillan/ILAS, 1996. (Spanish edition published by Trimestre Económico in Mexico)
  • (co-editor with Mónica Serrano) Rebuilding the State: Mexico after Salinas, Institute of Latin American Studies, 1996 (Spanish edition published by Fondo de Cultura Económica in Mexico)
  • (co-editor with D'Alva Kinzo, M.) Growth and Development in Brazil: Cardoso's Real Challenge, Institute of Latin American Studies, 1995
  • The Economic History of Latin America since Independence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994. (Spanish edition published by Fondo de Cultura Económica in Mexico in 1998; Japanese edition published by Nagoya University in 2001; Chinese edition forthcoming)
  • (co-editor with N.Craske and M. Serrano), Mexico and the North American Agreement: Who will Benefit?, Macmillan, 1994. A Spanish version was published as Mexico Frente al TLC: Costos y Beneficios, Colegio de México, 1995
  • (editor and coauthor), Central American Integration, Report for the Commission of the European Community, University of Miami, 1992
  • (with Malcolm Deas et al.), Latin America in Perspective, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991
  • (editor) Britain and Latin America: A Changing Relationship, Royal Institute of International Affairs and Cambridge University Press, 1989
  • Studies in the Economics of Central America, London: MacMillan; New York: St. Martins Press, 1988
  • The Political Economy of Central America since 1920, Cambridge University Press, 1987. A Spanish version (La Economía Política de América Central desde 1920) was published by the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in 1989
  • Latin American Debt: Origins, Policies and Prospects, London: Latin American Newsletters, 1987
  • Input Output Analysis: Sources, Methods and Applications for Developing Countries. London: John Wiley, 1982. (With a Foreword written by Professor Wassily Leontief)
  • Income, Expenditure and the Balance of Payments in Scotland. Glasgow: Fraser of Allander Institute, Research Monograph No. 6, 1978

Articles[edit]

  • "Latin America and the Obama Administration", in Niblett, R. (ed.), America and a Changed World: a Question of Leadership, 2010
  • "China's ‘peaceful development’: Six Areas for Concern", Monash Institute for the Study of Global Movements, Vol. 4, No.1, 2007
  • "Blair's Foreign Policy and its Possible Successor(s)", Chatham House Briefing Paper, December 2006
  • "Left March", in The World Today, December 2006.
  • "A Willing and Capable Partner" in Brazil: A New Perspective, Special Report, First, 2006.
  • "Rhetoric & Reality. The Chávez phenomenon" in The World Today, February 2006.
  • "Globalization and the New Economic Model in Latin America" in The Economic History of Latin America, "Vol. 2. The Long 20th Century", ed. Victor Bulmer-Thomas, John Coatsworth and Roberto Cortés Conde, Cambridge University Press (2006)
  • "Pipe Dreams", Progress, January/February 2006
  • "Fissures & Fault Lines", The House Magazine, 9 January 2006
  • "El futuro de América Latina: Las prioridades geopolíticas de los Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea", Puentes, no. 1, Octubre de 2005 (Fundación PENT)
  • "El reto de la globalización: la respuesta latinoamericana", Tribuna Americana, 1er semestre 2005 (Real Instituto Elcano)
  • "The Trouble with Long-Distance Relationships", The House Magazine, 27 September 2004
  • Evidence given to the House of Lords, Select Committee on European Union, The World Trade Organization: the role of the EU post Cancún, The Stationery Office Ltd, 16 June 2004
  • "With Them or Against Them?", The World Today, Vol. 60, no. 1, 2004
  • "EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement", Veja, December 2004
  • "The Central American Countries" in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History vol. 1, ed. Joel Mokyr, Oxford University Press, 2003
  • "Centroamérica 2020: hacia un nuevo modelo de desarrollo regional", Centroamérica 2020 – un nuevo modelo de desarrollo regional, Editorial Nueva Sociedad, Caracas, 2002
  • Evidence given to the House of Lords, Select Committee on Economic Affairs, Globalisation, The Stationery Office Ltd, 8 July 2002
  • "President Bush and the Axis of Evil", Carta Internacional, No. 110, April 2002
  • "Qual foro impacto dos atentados sobre o processo de globalização?", Veja, No. 51, December 2001
  • "The wider Caribbean in the 20th Century: a long-run development perspective", Integration & Trade, Vol. 5, No.15, September – December 2001, reprinted in (ed.) Dennis Pantin, The Caribbean Economy: A Reader, Ian Randle Publishers (2005).
  • "Targeting Terrorism", The World Today, Vol 57, No. 10, 2001
  • "Regional Integration in Latin America and the Caribbean", Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2001
  • "La integración regional y el comercio intra-industrial", Economía Internacional, No.14, June 2001
  • "Latin American Studies, Economics", International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2001
  • "A good record away from home", The House Magazine, No. 947, Vol. 26, May, 2001
  • "Americas Advance", The World Today, Vol. 57, No. 4, 2001
  • "Towards a free trade agreement", Special Report on the Federative Republic of Brazil by FIRST Magazine, March 2001
  • "Perspectives on US Latin American Policy", Ibero Americana, Vol. 1, No.1, 2001
  • "El Mercado Comun Centroamericano: del Regionalismo Cerrado al Regionalismo Abierto", in Briceno Ruiz, J. (ed.), Escenarios de la Integración Regional en las Américas, Mérida: Universidad de los Andes, 2000
  • "The European Union and MERCOSUR: Prospects for the Free Trade Agreement and Implications for the United States", Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs (Spring 2000)
  • "The Brazilian devaluation: national responses and international consequences", International Affairs, 75, 4, 1999. (Published in Spanish in Anuario Social y Politico de America Latina y El Caribe, FLACSO, Nueva Sociedad, 2000)
  • "Integración Regional en América Central", in Carmagnani, M., Hernandez Chavez, A. and Romano, R. (eds.), Historia de America III, Los Nudos (2), Mexico: Colegio de Mexico y Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1999
  • "British Trade with Latin America in the 19th and 20th Centuries", Institute of Latin American Studies, Occasional Paper, No.19, 1999
  • "El area de libre comercio de las Américas", Revista de la CEPAL, Numéro Extraordinario, 1998
  • "Open regionalism in Central America: theory and practice", World Development, February 1998
  • "La unión aduanera: un imperativo para la integración regional en América Central", in Sanahuja, J. and Sotillo, J. (eds.), Integración y desarrollo en Centroamérica, Madrid: Instituto Universitario de Desarrollo y Cooperación, 1998
  • "Brazil and the United Kingdom: trade relations in the 1990s", Institute of Latin American Studies, Occasional Paper, No. 15, 1997
  • "Regional integration in Latin America since 1985: Open Regionalism and Globalisation" in El-Agraa, A. (ed.), Economic Integration Worldwide, Macmillan, 1997
  • "Regional integration in Latin America before the debt crisis: LAFTA, CACM and the Andean Pact" in El-Agraa, A. (ed.), Economic Integration Worldwide, Macmillan, 1997
  • (with Fernando Rueda), "The Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Central America: a Case Study of the GSP scheme", Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1996
  • (with Pablo Rodas), "Databases for Large Latin American Countries", Latin American Research Review, Vol. 31, No.3, 1996
  • "Strategy and Policy Recommendations for Central American Integration", in Behar, J., Regional Integration and Economic Reform in Central America, Stockholm: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1996
  • Bibliographical essays on Honduras and Nicaragua in Bethell, L. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Latin America, Vol. XI, CUP, 1995
  • "The State, the Market and Elections in Latin America: How much has really changed?", Institute of Latin American Studies, Occasional Paper, No. 10, 1995
  • "The Latin American Economies in the 1930s", in Bethell, L. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Latin America, Vol. VI, Part I, Cambridge University Press, 1994
  • "La Crisis de la Economía de Agroexportación (1930–1945)", in Victor Hugo Acuña (ed.), Historia General de Centroamérica, Vol. 4, Las Repúblicas Agroexportadoras, Madrid, 1993
  • "A Long-Run Model of Development for Central America", The European Journal of Development Research, Vol.5, No.1, 1993
  • "Stabilization and Adjustment Programs in Central America Why are They Proving so Difficult?", in Roy, J. (ed.), Central America, the European Community and the United States, Miami: University of Miami (1992)
  • "La cooperación al desarrollo en las relaciones entre la América Latina y Europa", in Miguel Angel Gutiérrez (ed.), Integración: experiencias en Europa y América Latina, Buenos Aires: EUDEBA, Fundación CIPIE, Universidad de Buenos Aires (1992)
  • "Regional Integration in Central America", in IRELA, Prospects for the Process of Sub-regional Integration in Central and South America, Madrid, 1992
  • "Inflation in Latin America", in Collier, S. and Skidmore, T. (eds.), The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Latin America, Cambridge University Press (1992)
  • "Life after debt – the new economic trajectory in Latin America", Institute of Latin American Studies, Occasional Paper, No. 1, 1992
  • A Long Run Model of Development for Central America", Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, Research Paper No. 27, 1991
  • "Integración o Desintegración? El Futuro del Mercado Común Centroamericano", Revista de la Integración y el Desarrollo de Centroamérica, Tegucigalpa, No.45/46, 1990
  • "Nicaragua since 1930" in Bethell, L. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Latin America, Vol. VII, Cambridge University Press, 1990
  • "Honduras since 1930" in Bethell, L. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Latin America, Vol. VII, Cambridge University Press, 1990
  • "Britain and Latin America: Closer in the 1990s?", The World Today, November 1989
  • "Cooperación entre la CEE y América Latina, una asignatura pendiente", Boletín ICE Económico, Mayo, Madrid, 1989
  • "Can Regional Import Substitution and Export led Growth be combined?", in Irwin, G. and Holland, S. (Eds.), Central America: The Future of Economic Integration, Westview, 1989
  • The Economics of Central America", Latin American Research Review, 1988, No. 2
  • "Economic Relations Between Western Europe and Central America", in García, R. (ed.), Central America: Crisis and Possibilities, Stockholm: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1988
  • "The New Model of Development in Costa Rica", in García, R. (ed.), Central America: Crisis and Possibilities, Stockholm: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1988
  • "The Central American Common Market". In El Agraa A. (ed.), International Economic Integration, London: MacMillan, 1988. Revised version of first edition published in 1982
  • "Balance of Payments crisis and Adjustment Programmes in Central America", in Thorp, R. and Whitehead, L. (eds.), The Latin American Debt and the Adjustment Crisis, London MacMillan; New York: St. Martins Press, 1987
  • "Applications of Input Output Analysis for Less Developed Countries", in Sohn, I. (ed.), Readings in Input Output Analysis, Oxford University Press, 1986
  • "Cuentas Nacionales de Centroamérica desde 1920", Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos, (San José), Vol. 12, Fascículo I, 1986, pp. 81 96
  • "Central American Integration, Trade Diversification and the World Market", in Irwin G. and Gorostiaga X, (eds.), Towards an Alternative for Central America and the Caribbean, (Allen and Unwin, September 1985), pp. 194 212
  • "World Recession and Central American Depression: Lessons from the 1930s for the 1980s', in Duran, E. (ed.), Latin America and the World Recession, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (April 1985), pp. 130 151
  • "Searching for a New Equilibrium Internal Politics in Central America", Third World Affairs, January 1985, pp. 251 263
  • "Central America in the Inter War years", in Thorp R. (ed.), Latin America in the 1930s, MacMillan, 1984, pp. 279 314
  • "Economic development over the long run: Central America since 1920", Journal of Latin American Studies, November 1983
  • "The Crisis in Central America: economic roots and historical dimensions", The World Today, September 1983. pp. 328 335
  • "Central America (Review Article)". Bulletin of Latin American Research, May 1982, pp. 110 115
  • "Import Substitution v. Export Promotion in the Central American Common Market", Journal of Economic Studies, November 1979, pp. 182 203
  • "Trade, Structure and Linkages in an Input Output Approach", Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1978, 73 86
  • "The Valuation of Transactions in Input Output Tables". Journal of Economic Studies, May 1978, pp. 1 19
  • "Land Reform in Guatemala". Civilisations, Summer, 1978, pp. 76 87
  • "The Scottish Balance of Payments, 1973". In W. Leontief (ed.), Structure, Systems and Economic Policy. Cambridge University Press, 1977, pp. 123 141
  • "A Model of Inflation for Central America". Bulletin of Oxford University Institute of Economics and Statistics, November 1977, pp. 319 332
  • "The Structure of Protection in Costa Rica A New Approach to Calculating the Effective Rate of Protection". Journal of Economic Studies, May 1976, pp. 13 28
  • "The Viability after Independence of Small Dependent Territories The Case of Belize". Civilisations, Vol. XXVI, 1976, pp. 362 367
  • "Costa Rica; voting in harmony", New Internationalist, April 1974

Other publications[edit]

(with Dougal Martin) "Construction of an input-output table of the Guatemalan economy", QMW, Working Paper No. 257, 1992

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whole reference can be found at "Library of Congress Online Catalog"

External links[edit]