Emerging Countries:
The Marxism-Institutionalism Controversy
Sergio Ordóñez
Date submitted: 25, 2011. Date accepted: February 13, 2012

The basic premise of this paper is that the problem in the agency-social structure or subject-social structure relationship is crucial for understanding the present stage of take-off in the new phase of development or capitalism of knowledge following the recent global crisis of 2007-2009. This expresses the contradiction between neoliberalism, as a political-ideological projection, and a new technological-productive base, as well as the question of differentiation between developed “successful” countries and those that are “backward”. Institutionalism and Gramsci’s Marxism have offered solutions to the agency-structure dichotomy through very different theoretical approaches, the first seeking to explain the issue of differentiation between countries. Aspects of an alternative explanation are provided here through the Gramscian solution.

Keywords: Latin America, Asia, capitalism of knowledge, differentiation between developing countries, institutionalism, the Gramscian Marxism.