Latin America After The Neoliberal Debacle

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"Latin America after the Neoliberal Debacle studies the crippling problems that plague civilian democracies in the region. Ximena de la Barra and Richard Dello Buono draw on their extensive first-hand knowledge of Latin America to provide a rich analysis of why the needs of the region are too often put second to powerful foreign interests. In particular, they look at the shortcomings of the neoliberal development model, combining a broad historical overview with analysis of critical issues today." In a region that displays some of the worst social disparities in the world, popular movements have begun to confront the forces of domination. Their struggles for social justice have proposed new political agendas that in some cases dovetail with the new generation of progressive leaders, fueling important social changes. The authors argue that genuine development, free of dependency, can only be achieved in the context of a more profound democratization and new forms of regional integration. This interdisciplinary study will be useful for students, scholars, and general readers concerned with the past, present, and particularly the future of this important region.
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Editorial Reviews

Susan George
Passionate yet scholarly, thorough yet succinct, this book by two deeply committed experts is the best guide one is likely to find to the current scene in fast-changing Latin America.
Berch Berberoglu
At a time of increasing criticism of neoliberal globalization that has devastated societies around the world, this book provides a powerful critique of neoliberalism and its impact on Latin America and succeeds superbly in addressing the problems of neoliberal capitalist policies that have failed in a big way. Offering an alternative path out of the current crisis in Latin America, the book shows us the way forward for its future social transformation through mass mobilization and struggle. A must-read for anyone interested in understanding the problems and prospects of the region at this critical juncture in history.
John M. Kirk
An insightful, wide-ranging and extremely well argued analysis of the scourge of neoliberalism and its tragic impact on Latin America. Just as important, however, is a prescription—based upon successful regional models—to avoid its reappearance. A profound study on the ills that have traditionally plagued Latin America and inhibited any meaningful form of development. Essential reading for all interested in contemporary Latin America, and its future.
Thomas Ponniah
Ximena de la Barra and Richard Dello Buono have made a fine contribution to the most important question of our time: what are the alternative social models for a generation that has witnessed both the fall of Soviet communism and the demise of neoliberalism?
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ximena de la Barra is an independent consultant recently retired from UNICEF where she was the Latin American Public Policy Advisor. In earlier years she was part of the Allende Popular Unity Government and the first democratically elected Madrid local government, both in a technical capacity and as a community activist. Richard Dello Buono is associate professor of sociology at the New College of Florida and is visiting associate professor of political science at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Mexico.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

Foreword Judith Blau Blau, Judith


Pt. I Neoliberal Crises and the Declining Legitimacy of Representative Democracy

1 Fragilities of Representative Democracy in the Washington Consensus Era

2 The Triple Debt of Neoliberal Globalization

Pt. II Social Movements and Renewed Demands for Social Transformation

3 Social Movements Take the Offensive

4 The Reemergence of an Emancipatory Agenda

5 Challenging the Existing Legality

Pt. III Twenty-first Century Strategies for Sovereignty and Regional Transformation

6 Challenging the Financial Trap under Neoliberal Globalization

7 Interventionism and the Military Trap

8 Challenging Neoliberal Ideology and Latin America's "One-Dimensional Thought"

9 Regional Integration and the Emancipatory Agenda Afterword: What's "Left" after Neoliberalism?



List of Authorities

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted June 12, 2009

    Excellent Critique of Neoliberal Policy Failures and Exploration of the New Latin American Left

    I teach Latin American studies at a university and learned a lot from this book. Written by two seasoned and committed Latin Americanists, it is a welcome new resource for specialists, advanced students, and human rights and solidarity activists.

    De la Barra and Dello Buono provide the most up-to-date, exhaustively documented critique that we have of U.S.-promoted neoliberal policies, including privatization of state industries and free trade agreements. The failure of those policies to provide relief to the region's extreme poverty, inequality, and foreign domination stimulated the growth of new left-wing social movements and governments, which the authors in turn describe and analyze.

    They explain the policy thinking behind the dramatic shifts to the left in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador and less dramatic but nonetheless significant changes in other countries with center-left governments. Contrary to widespread hostile press coverage in the U.S. that coveys the impression that these governments, especially Venezuela's, are undemocratic, the authors show that experimentation with new forms of democratization is at the heart of their development projects. They explain the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America (ALBA), which challenges the U.S. neoliberal plan for a Free Trade Agreement for the Americas (FTAA). Interwoven throughout are analyses of new social movements in all parts the region, which are applying pressure to democratize and transform the institutions of their societies. There is also running commentary on Cuba, which remains an inspiration for much of the Latin American left.

    This, in short, is a comprehensive, well researched and well written critique of U.S.-promoted neoliberal policy and exploration of the reinvigoration of left wing social movements in Latin America and the challenges facing them.

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