Blowback: The Consequences of CIA-sponsored Regime Change in Latin America

45 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2021

Date Written: March 15, 2021

Abstract

The CIA coined the term “blowback” in the 1950s to refer to unintended and unwanted side effects of covert operations. We study the side effects of CIA-sponsored regime change in Latin America during the Cold War. While the US may have been acting in its perceived foreign policy self- interest, we find that these interventions caused large declines in democracy, moderate declines in real per-capita incomes, and no clear pattern in social unrest. Our findings should make any evaluation of US foreign policies regarding regime change in Latin America more negative and support the idea that these types of covert operations can cause real, damaging, blowback.

Suggested Citation

Grier, Kevin B., Blowback: The Consequences of CIA-sponsored Regime Change in Latin America (March 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3804885 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3804885

Kevin B. Grier (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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