An engaging introduction to Latin America with a fresh, thematic approach to key political and social issues. This accessible undergraduate textbook examines the entirety of the region, addressing complex issues in a clear and direct manner. Grounded in cutting-edge research and data, concepts are illustrated through tables, maps, and timelines.
Most current analysis on Latin American politics has been directed at examining the shift to the left in the region. Very little attention, however, has been paid to the reactions of the right to this phenomenon. What kind of discursive, policy, and strategic responses have emerged among the right in Latin America as a result of this historic turn to the left? Have there been any shifts in attitudes to inequality and poverty as a result of the successes of the left in those areas? How has the right responded strategically to regain the political initiative from the left? And what implications might such responses have for democracy in the region? The Right in Latin America seeks to provide answers to these questions while helping to fill a gap in the literature on contemporary Latin American politics. Unlike previous studies, Barry Cannon’s book does not simply concentrate on party political responses to the contemporary challenges for the right in the region. Rather he uses a wider, more comprehensive theoretical framework, grounded in political sociology, in recognition of the deep social roots of the right among Latin America’s elites, in a region known for its startling inequalities. Using Michael Mann’s pioneering work on power, he shows how elite dominance in the key areas of the economy, ideology, the military, and in transnational relations, has had a profound influence on the political strategies of the Latin American right. He shows how left governments, especially the more radical ones, have threatened elite power in these areas, influencing right-wing strategic responses as a result. These responses, he persuasively argues, can vary from elections, through street protests and media campaigns, to military coups, depending on the level of perceived threat felt by elites from the left. In this way, Cannon uncovers the dialectical nature of the left/right relationship in contemporary Latin American politics, while simultaneously providing pointers as to how the left can respond to the challenge of the right’s resurgence in the current context of left retrenchment. Cannon’s multi-faceted inter-disciplinary approach, including original research among right-leaning actors in the region makes the book an essential reference not only for those interested in the contemporary Latin American right but for anyone interested in the region’s politics at a critical juncture in its history.
Where do strong conservative parties come from? While there is a growing scholarly awareness about the importance of such parties for democratic stability, much less is known about their origins. In this groundbreaking book, James Loxton takes up this question by examining new conservative parties formed in Latin America between 1978 and 2010. The most successful cases, he finds, shared a surprising characteristic: they had deep roots in former dictatorships. Through a comparative analysis of failed and successful cases in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, and Guatemala, Loxton argues that this was not a coincidence. The successes inherited a range of resources from outgoing authoritarian regimes that, paradoxically, gave them an advantage in democratic competition. He also highlights the role of intense counterrevolutionary struggle as a source of party cohesion. In addition to making an empirical contribution to the study of the Latin American right and a theoretical contribution to the study of party-building, Loxton advances our understanding of the worldwide phenomenon of "authoritarian successor parties"parties that emerge from authoritarian regimes but that operate after a transition to democracy. A major work, Conservative Party-Building in Latin America will reshape our understanding of politics in contemporary Latin America and the realities of democratic transitions everywhere.
Nearly four decades since the onset of the third wave, political parties remain weak in Latin America: parties have collapsed in much of the region, and most new party-building efforts have failed. Why do some new parties succeed while most fail? This book challenges the widespread belief that democracy and elections naturally give rise to strong parties and argues that successful party-building is more likely to occur under conditions of intense conflict than under routine democracy. Periods of revolution, civil war, populist mobilization, or authoritarian repression crystallize partisan attachments, create incentives for organization-building, and generate a 'higher cause' that attracts committed activists. Empirically rich chapters cover diverse cases from across Latin America, including both successful and failed cases.
This new textbook provides students with a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the presidents and presidential leadership in Latin America. Unlike other texts, Presidents and Democracy in Latin America integrates both political analysis and major theoretical perspectives with extensive country-specific material. Part One examines the developments in recent years in Latin American presidentialism and identifies different characteristics of society and politics which have influenced Latin American governments. The personalization of political life and of presidential government help to illustrate the character of Latin American politics, specifically on the type of political career of those who occupied the presidential office, the leadership style of these presidents and the type of government which they led. Part Two studies two presidents in each of six countries in the region which reflect the broad trends in the political and electoral life: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Each case study first provides the biographical background of the president; it outlines the political career of the president both inside and outside of a party, including at the local level; the popularity of the president at the time of the presidential election is given, as well as the mode of selection of the candidates (selection by party leaders only, by party members or by a primary). The relation of the president with the government or ministers, especially if there is a coalition government, is detailed. This textbook will be essential reading for all students of Latin American Politics and is highly recommended for those studying executive politics, political leadership, and the state of democratic governance in Latin America.
This book is a critical resource for understanding the relationship between gender, social policy and women’s activism in Latin America, with specific reference to Chile. Latin America’s mother-centered kinship system makes it an ideal field in which to study motherhood and maternalism—the ways in which motherhood becomes a public policy issue. As maternalism embraces and enhances gender differences, it has been criticized for deepening gender inequalities. Yet invoking motherhood continues to offer an effective strategy for advancing women’s living conditions and rights, and for women themselves to be present in the public sphere. In analyzing these important relationships, the contributors to this volume discuss maternal health, sexual and reproductive rights, labor programs, paid employment, women miners’ unionization, housing policies, environmental suffering, and LGBTQ intimate partner violence.
This volume examines the ways in which the socio-economic elites of the region have transformed and expanded the material bases of their power from the inception of neo-liberal policies in the 1970s through to the so-called progressive ‘pink tide’ governments of the past two decades. The six case study chapters—on Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, and Guatemala—variously explore how state policies and even United Nations peace-keeping missions have enhanced elite control of land and agricultural exports, banks and insurance companies, wholesale and import commerce, industrial activities, and alliances with foreign capital. Chapters also pay attention to the ways in which violence has been deployed to maintain elite power, and how international forces feed into sustaining historic and contemporary configurations of power.
Neoliberalism changed the face of Latin America and left average citizens struggling to cope in many ways. Popular sectors were especially hard hit as wages declined and unemployment increased. The backlash to neoliberalism in the form of popular protest and electoral mobilization opened space for leftist governments to emerge. The turn to left governments raised popular expectations for a second wave of incorporation. Although a growing literature has analyzed many aspects of left governments, there is no study of how the redefinition of the organized popular sectors, their allies, and their struggles have reshaped the political arena to include their interests—until now. This volume examines the role played in the second wave of incorporation by political parties, trade unions, and social movements in five cases: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The cases shed new light on a subject critical to understanding the change in the distribution of political power related to popular sectors and their interests—a key issue in the study of postneoliberalism.
This volume offers a comparative analysis of the role of the military in Latin America in domestic politics and governance after 2000. Divided into four parts covering the entirety of Latin America, the book argues that the Latin American military as semi-autonomous political actors have not faded away since 2000 and may even have been making a comeback in various countries. Each part outlines scenarios which effectively frame the various pathways taken to post-military democratic society. Part 1 critically examines textbook cases of political demilitarization in the Southern Cone, Peru, and Costa Rica. Part 2 contrasts the role of the military in the post-2000 politics of two regional powers: Brazil and Mexico. Part 3 examines the political role of the military facing ‘violent pluralism’ in Colombia and the Northern triangle of Central America. Finally, Part 4 identifies country cases in which the military have been instrumental in the rise, sustenance, and occasional demise of left wing revolutionary projects within Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia. Latin American Military and Politics in the Twenty-First Century will be of interest to scholars, students and professionals in the fields of Latin American history, international relations, military studies and studies concerning democracy, political violence and revolution in Latin America elsewhere.
Based on contributions from leading scholars, this study generates a wealth of new empirical information about Latin American party systems. It also contributes richly to major theoretical and comparative debates about the effects of party systems on democratic politics, and about why some party systems are much more stable and predictable than others. Party Systems in Latin America builds on, challenges, and updates Mainwaring and Timothy Scully's seminal Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America (1995), which re-oriented the study of democratic party systems in the developing world. It is essential reading for scholars and students of comparative party systems, democracy, and Latin American politics. It shows that a stable and predictable party system facilitates important democratic processes and outcomes, but that building and maintaining such a party system has been the exception rather than the norm in contemporary Latin America.
This edited volume examines malaise with democracy within three middle-income Latin American countries - Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. In particular, the book focuses on the gap within public opinion on democratic system within the context of crisis of representation and breakdowns of democracy. Based on a study using comparative and systematic survey data, the contributors of this volume provide a solid analysis on the state of democracy in three Latin American countries, whose lessons are useful for all types of democracy, in the north and the south.