This book examines the interrelationship between the external debt problem and the consolidation of democracy in Latin America in the 1990s. It considers the interplay of actors, including creditor governments, international financial institutions, debtor countries, commercial banks, and multinational corporations, and environment in the new decade, focusing on whether or not Latin America's political regimes can strengthen and democratize their respective economies while continuing to guarantee the country's democratic politics. The foreign debt problem casts an especially long shadow on the Latin American democracies. While important in its own right, understanding the Latin American experience is also essential in light of changes in Eastern Europe. Despite many obvious cultural differences and historical experiences, there are many parellels between the two regions--democratization at a time of economic crisis and of heavy external debt. This important new book underscores the lessons of the Latin American experience, making it essential reading for anyone concerned with the global economy.