a1 Professor of Political Science at the University of São Paolo.
The recent experiences of transition to democracy in Latin America have taken place in circumstances which suggest a need to rethink the political and social dimensions of inflation. The experience of the 1980s reveals that the once familiar road which led from an inflationary spiral and a rising foreign debt to the collapse of democracy can also be travelled by other types of regime. The crisis of the bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes, Chile apart, reflected an inability to deal with those same focal points of political and economic uncertainty. The sequence which runs from high (or hyper) inflation to political regime change may be neutral, in the sense that it is indifferent to whether the regimes affected are democratic or authoritarian.