This paper looks at the two successive development paradigms that prevailed in Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century, examining in particular the role assigned to the State in each. It will discuss how, in the ECLAC paradigm, a far-reaching role for the State as guide, sponsor and direct participant in productive development became less viable as the State was captured by private interests that no institution was solid enough to contain. Later, after the advent of the Washington consensus, the State became too severely weakened to carry out proper
regulation of privatized activities or to sustain its long-term vision or its concern about income concentration. The paper touches upon the social demand for a new type of State and examines the requirements and objectives that will have to be met if the State is to facilitate the effective
operation of markets and act to reduce social inequalities, among other things.