Politics of Latin America: The Power Game


Now in its fifth edition, Politics of Latin America explores both the evolution and the current state of politics in Latin America. Distinguishing itself from more traditional works on the subject, this unique text demonstrates a nuanced sensitivity to the use and abuse of power and the importance of social conditions, gender, race, globalization, class, and political economy throughout Latin America.

The first part of the text features thematic chapters that outline the ...

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Now in its fifth edition, Politics of Latin America explores both the evolution and the current state of politics in Latin America. Distinguishing itself from more traditional works on the subject, this unique text demonstrates a nuanced sensitivity to the use and abuse of power and the importance of social conditions, gender, race, globalization, class, and political economy throughout Latin America.

The first part of the text features thematic chapters that outline the region's geographic setting, history, economics, society, gender, race, and religion, setting the stage for a more detailed analysis of the politics, democratization, political culture, political movements, and revolution in Latin America, along with U.S.-Latin American relations. The second part of the book consists of carefully constructed case studies of ten representative Latin American nations: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Each case study traces the historical and political development of key actors and institutions, analyzing contemporary power configurations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This outstanding overview balances major comparative themes with selected Latin American case studies written by country experts. Analysis of the region's historical context, social structure (highlighting class, race, gender, religion and family), political economy, regime transitions, social/political movements, and global context make this an ideal text for undergraduate courses in Latin American politics, sociology, and history. Students will appreciate the accessible writing and updated tables and charts."—Richard Stahler-Sholk, Eastern Michigan University

"Politics of Latin America has many excellent features and is probably the single best hybrid of thematic and country approaches."—Philip Meeks, Creighton University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199340255
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2014
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 646
  • Sales rank: 723,464
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry E. Vanden is Professor of Latin American Studies, Political Science, and International Studies at the University of South Florida.

Gary Prevost is Professor of Political Science at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict.

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Table of Contents

*=New to this Edition
Maps and Frequently Cited Acronyms
List of Tables and Figures
Introduction: Notes on Studying Politics in Latin America
1. An Introduction to Twenty-First Century Latin America
Once There Were Rain Forests
The People
The Land
The Cities Explode: Urbanization
2. Early History
People in the Americas before the Conquest
Indigenous Civilization
The Conquest
How Could They Do It?
Early Colony
Establishing a New Social Structure: The Castas
Women and Power
Slavery and Other Forms of Organization
Production, Trade, and Extraction of Riches
The Church
Colonial State Organization
Governmental Organization
The Bourbon Reforms
3. Democracy and Dictators: A Historical Overview from Independence to the Present Day
The French Revolution, Local Uprisings, and Independence
Argentina, 1806-1810
Early Drive for Independence in Hispanic America
Brazilian Independence
Early Years of Independence
The Aftermath of Independence and the Monroe Doctrine
The Mexican Revolution
Democratic Reformism in Uruguay
Democracy and Dictatorship in Argentina
Authoritarianism, Aprismo, Marxismo, and Democracy in Peru
Democracy, Socialism, Intervention, and Dictatorship in Chile
Cuba, Colonialism, and Communism
Earlier Attempts at Change: Bolivia and Colombia
Brazil, U.S. Foreign Policy, and the National Security State
The Cold War and Change
The Dominican Case
Central America and U.S. Hegemony
The Post-Cold War Period and U.S. Hegemony
Venezuela: Dictatorship, Democracy, and the Post-Cold War Bolivarian Republic
The Pink Tide
Growth, Persistent Poverty, and Immigration to the United States
4. The Other Americans
People of Color Under Colonialism
European Justification
The Role of Sugar and Slavery
Resistance to Slavery
Concept of Race
Contemporary Struggle of the Indigenous People
5. Society, Family, and Gender
Family and Gender Roles
Women and Patriarchy
Class, Gender, Race, and Mobility
Classism Challenged: Mass Organizations
Homosexuality and Transgenderism
6. Religion in Latin America
Indigenous Religious Practice
Colonial Catholic Church
The Church in Modern Latin America
A New Political Role
Impact of Liberation Theology
Protestantism and Pentecostalism
African-Inspired Religions
7. The Political Economy of Latin America
On Economics and Political Economy
The Latin American Economy
Agrarian Production
Foreign Investment and Enclave Production
Dependency and Underdevelopment
Raúl Prebisch and the ECLA
Dependency Theory
Import Substitution Industrialization
Export Orientation
Increasing Foreign Debt and the Debt Crisis
Structural Adjustment and the Move to Neoliberalism
Privatization and Neoliberalism
Regional Integration, NAFTA, and the Globalization Process
Economic Legacy
Twenty-First-Century Prospects
8. Democracy and Authoritarianism: Latin American Political Culture
Authoritarian Legacy and Weak Democratic Tradition
The Caudillo Tradition
Democratic Deficit
Democracy Grows
Military Rule and Bureaucratic Authoritarianism
Conflictual Attitudes
Elitism and Pacted Democracy
Strong-Man Rule: Caudillo, Cacique and Coronel
Cuartel, Cuartelazo, Golpe de Estado, and the Junta
Políticos and Políticas
Corporate Values and Corporatism
Patron-Client, Clientelism, and Other Special Relations
Improvisation and Jeto
9. Politics, Power, Institutions, and Actors
State of Siege
Code Law
The President
Government Structure and Local Government
Centralization, Decentralization, and Federalism
Electoral Tribunals
The Bureaucracy
New Directions: Democracy and Democratization
Political Actors
Traditional Large Landowners: Latifundistas
Business and Industrial Elites
The Middle or Intermediate Sectors
Organized Labor
Rural Poor
The Military
Government Bureaucrats
Political Parties
10. Struggling for Change: Revolution, Social and Political Movements in Latin America
Other Revolutionary Endeavors
El Salvador
New Social Movements
Argentine Manifestation
Chiapas: Regional Victory
New Social Movements and New Politics
* Bolivia
11. U.S.-Latin American Relations
Territorial Expansion: Confrontation with Mexico
Dreams of Cuba
Economic Transformation
Gunboat Diplomacy, the Big Stick, and Dollar Diplomacy
The Roosevelt Corollary
Dollar Diplomacy
Latin American Reaction
Good Neighbor Policy
Democracy and World War II
The Rio Treaty and the Organization of American States
Guatemalan Case
Alliance for Progress
National Security Doctrine
September 11 Coup in Chile
Cold War in Central America
Latin America and the Post-Cold War World
Latin American Initiatives
Prospects for the Future
12. Mexico, Nora Hamilton
Historical Trajectory
Early History
Independence and the Mexican Republic (1810-1910)
The Mexican Revolution (1910-1940)
Mexico's Political Economy
The "Perfect Dictatorship": 1940-1982
The "Mexican Miracle"
Economic Liberalization
Uneven Progress Toward Democracy
Government Structures and Political Organizations
Interest Groups, NGOS, and Dissidents
Business Groups
Labor and Peasant Groups
Indigenous Groups
Women and Gender Issues
Drug Cartels
Human Rights, Civic, and Environmental Organizations
Foreign and International Groups
Other Groups and Organizations
13. Argentina, Aldo C. Vacs
Political Evolution
From Colony to Oligarchic Republic
The Ascent and Fall of Mass Democracy
The Rise and Decline of Peronism
Authoritarianism and Limited Democracy
Military Regime and State Terror
The Return to Democracy
Liberal Democracy and Free Markets
Economic Crisis, Political Upheaval, and the Return of Populism
Politics and Power
Constitutional Framework and Political Institutions
Main Political Parties
Interest Groups
Women's Roles
Looking Forward: Argentina's Political Prospects
14. Brazil, Wilber Albert Chaffee
A Brief Political History
Democratic Interlude
Military Rule
The "New Republic"
Political Economy
Foreign Policy
Geography of Inequality
A Culture of Discrimination
The Political System
The President
The Legislature
The Courts
Political Parties
Interest Groups
Public Employees
Agrarian Reform
Organized Religion
The Amazon
Brazil Today
15. Chile, Eduardo Silva
Political Economy
Political History
Military Government
Power and Politics
Chilean Government Structures
Political Institutions
Main Political Parties
Interest Groups
Indigenous Peoples
Environmental Movement
Organized Business
Organized Labor
Catholic Church and University Students
16. Colombia, John C. Dugas
Economic and Social Context
Economic Development
Peasants and Urban Workers
Dominant Economic Classes
Demographic and Socioeconomic Changes
Political History
Nineteenth-Century Political Development
Early Twentieth Century Political Development
La Violencia
The National Front Regime (1958-1974)
The Post-National Front Period (1974-1990)
The 1991 Constitution and Beyond
The Colombian Political Regime
Constitutional Structure
Limitations On Democratic Governance
17. Venezuela, Daniel Hellinger
Geography and People
Venezuela's History and Its Uses Today
Oil Changes Everything
The Rise and Fall of the Punto Fijo Regime
Corruption and Rise of Chavismo
Rise of Chavismo
Survival Politics
Venezuela's "Bolivarian" Constitution and Institutional Framework
Political Actors in Bolivarian Venezuela
The Opposition
Economic and Development Strategies in Bolivarian Venezuela
Challenges after Chávez
18. Bolivia, Waltraud Q. Morales
Geopolitical Overview
Early History
Colonial Rule (1532-1809)
Independence and Caudillo Rule (1809-1879)
The War of the Pacific (1879-1884)
Republican Government (1880-1932)
The Chaco War and the Coming of Revolution (1932-1951)
From Revolution to Military Dictatorship (1952-1982)
Transition to Democratic Rule
Indigenous Resurgence and Populist Democracy
* Refounding Bolivia
* Consolidating Reform
* Prospects for a Third Term
19. Cuba, Gary Prevost
Revolution in Power
Decade of the 1970s—Economic Changes
Political Process
International Relations
Cuban Response to the Collapse of the Soviet Union
* U.S.-Cuban Relations
20. Guatemala, Susanne Jonas
Precolonial, Colonial, and Neocolonial History
The Revolution of 1944-1954 and the 1954 CIA Intervention
Aftermath: Chronic Crisis
Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 1970s-1980s
Transition to Restricted Civilian Rule
Social Crisis and Reemergence of Social Movements
Guatemala's Peace Process (1990-1996)
Postwar Guatemala (1997-2013)
21. Nicaragua, Gary Prevost and Harry E. Vanden
The Modern Era
Carlos Fonseca and the Roots of the FSLN
Turning Point for Revolution
The FSLN in Power
Consolidating Political Institutions
The 1990 Election and After
The 1996 Elections and the Evolving Party System
The Sandanistas Return to Power
Nicaragua's Economy
Social Conditions
Nicaraguan Government Structures
Interest Groups
Rural Groups
Armed Forces
Indigenous People
Political Parties
Liberal Parties
Appendix 1. Presidential Elections
Appendix 2. Recent Legislative Elections
Authors and Contributors

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