The Peruvian Labyrinth: Polity, Society, Economy

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A country perceived as having unusually complex political, economic, and social problems, Peru has long fascinated social scientists. The Peruvian Labyrinth brings together a new generation of scholars to explore the multifaceted Peruvian "experiment" as it has evolved further, in often dramatic ways, in the 1980s and 1990s.
The volume focuses special attention on the administration of Albert Fujimori, who suspended the constitution in 1992, two years after he first became president, but then was reelected in 1995. The experience of Peru under his regime raises important questions about the nature of democracy in Latin America, the challenges of economic and political reofrm, and the prospects for combining stable democratic goverance and sustained development.
Topics covered in the volume include the legacies of democratic transistions, human rights and political violence, the decline of the Shining Path, the Fujimori "autogolpe," the changing roles of business and organized labor, the political impact of the informal sectorm changes in the agrarian sector, and the shift in economic strategies from the deveopmentalism and toward neoliberalism.

"Highly useful anthology dealing with the complex social, political and economic issues dominating Peru during the past three decades. Individual authors discuss the evolution of peasant communities in the sierra, the difficulties of transition from extended military to civilian rule after 1980, the dynamics of Fujimori's political leadership, the status of trade unions, the decline of Sendero Luminoso, and the troubling issue of human rights in contemporary Peru. Bibliography provides valuable guide to key issues of contemporary Peru"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

Eight essays continue the scholarly interest in the South American country demonstrated by similar collections published in 1975 and 1983. Social and political scientists, including two from Peru, cover the legacy of past choices in regimes, coalitions, and policies; peasants, workers, and business as social actors in political change; and violence and human rights. A conclusion summarizes the state of the country. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Jo-Marie Burt
If you seek to navigate through the complex, often confusing terrain of contemporary Peruvian politics, The Peruvian Labyrinth is an essential guidebook. The volume's essays, grounded in solid empirical research, are full of analytical insights that will be of interest not only to students of Peruvian politics but also to theorists of state-society relations, institution building, and democratization.
Political Science Quarterly
From the Publisher
“An authoritative, well-written, and up-to-date account of the 1970s to 1990s in Peru, The Peruvian Labyrinth concentrates on the Fujimori regime and its achievements, particularly in its search for economic stability and sustained development. It is objective, and also critical of the regime in some respects, questioning it in terms of the way democracy is viewed and applied.”
British Bulletin of Publications

“If you seek to navigate through the complex, often confusing terrain of contemporary Peruvian politics, The Peruvian Labyrinth is an essential guidebook. The volume’s essays, grounded in solid empirical research, are full of analytical insights that will be of interest not only to students of Peruvian politics but also to theorists of state-society relations, institution building, and democratization.”
—Jo-Marie Burt, Political Science Quarterly

The Peruvian Labyrinth uses a well-chosen variety of angles to explain the complicated factors that made Peru stand out as one of the most troubled countries in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s, and have shaped its partial recovery in the 1990s. They capture a great deal of the devastating process in which particular problems reacted on and aggravated each other to worsen violence, economic deterioration, and political decay. They also bring out well the mixture of gains and losses in the 1990s, as the Fujimori government managed to restore a sense of order and governability but also weakened democratic institutions, the violence of Sendero Luminoso was checked but governmental abuses of human rights took ominous new turns, and the economy recovered but in perhaps even more unequal ways than in the past. The individual chapters are all clearly written, raise important questions, and convey a realistic picture of an exceedingly complex process.”
—John Sheahan, Williams College

The Peruvian Labyrinth should be required reading for all who wish to understand the myriad complexities of the contemporary politics of Peru.”
—Victor Peralta Ruiz, Interdisciplinary Studies of Latin America and the Caribbean

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271030517
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 12/13/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Maxwell A. Cameron is Associate Professor in the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Philip Mauceri is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I The Legacy of Past Choices: Regimes, Coalitions, Policies
1 The Transition to "Democracy" and the Failures of Institution Building 13
2 Political and Economic Origins of Regime Change in Peru: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Alberto Fujimori 37
3 State Policy and Social Conflict in Peru 70
Pt. II Social Actors and Political Change: Peasants, Workers, Business
4 The Rural Landscape and Changing Political Awareness: Enterprises, Agrarian Producers, and Peasant Communities, 1969-1994 107
5 Politics and Trade Unions in Peru 134
6 The Growth and Limitations of the Peruvian Right 152
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2010

    Pretty Good

    Very readable and interesting. Not dry and boring in style. I was reading only for pleasure though, so cannot say how it stacks up against other books on the topic.

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