Why Costa Rica?
The organization has been historically centered in the Advanced Developed Countries of North America, Europe and Japan. The San Jose venue was selected as part of a broader effort to expand the area of interest and focus more directly on issues of particular concern to Latin America and the developing world and to draw a greater participation from scholars in those areas. It follows the 2004 meetings which were held in Budapest and represented a similar initiative vis a vis the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe.
Latin America has always had a strong tradition in socioeconomics and political economy. Many of the studies from the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) are informed by insights from the combined work of sociology and economics, and promote an interdisciplinary view of development processes. Other institutions like the Latin American School of Social Science (FLACSO in its Spanish acronym) have made important contributions to our discipline and built constructive interactions with European and US universities. In recent times, Latin American social scientists have developed new approaches to the study of welfare regimes in developing countries, the evolution of economic policy, the evaluation of global production networks and many other related issues. At the same time, the region in general (and Costa Rica in particular) is currently an active ground for debates on the optimum ways to overcome the many deficiencies of the Washington Consensus and implement new development models. The SASE conference in Costa Rica will contribute to new thinking and promote a more intense interaction between academics in different parts of the world.