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Leftist Governments in Latin America
Successes and Shortcomings

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Kurt Weyland, Javier Corrales, George Gray Molina, Evelyne Huber, Jennifer Pribble, John D. Stephens, Peter R. Kingstone, Aldo F. Ponce, Pedro Luiz Barros Silva, José Carlos de Souza Braga, Vera Lúcia Cabral Costa, Raúl Madrid, Wendy Hunter
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  • Can Latin America’s “new left” stimulate economic development, enhance social equity, and deepen democracy in spite of the economic and political constraints it faces? This is the first book to systematically examine the policies and performance of the left-wing governments that have risen to power in Latin America during the last decade. Featuring thorough studies of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Venezuela by renowned experts, the volume argues that moderate leftist governments have attained greater, more sustainable success than their more radical, contestatory counterparts. Moderate governments in Brazil and Chile have generated solid economic growth, reduced poverty and inequality, and created innovative and fiscally sound social programs, while respecting the fundamental principles of market economics and liberal democracy. By contrast, more radical governments, exemplified by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, have expanded state intervention and popular participation and attained some short-term economic and social successes, but they have provoked severe conflict, undermined democracy, and failed to ensure the economic and institutional sustainability of their policy projects.

    • Thorough and scholarly examination of the most exciting and controversial topic in contemporary Latin American politics
    • Whereas extant publications examine (causes of) the rise of the two Lefts, this book assesses and compares their accomplishments
    • Clear focus on the four central, prototypical country cases
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “This excellent and timely volume provides an assessment of the policy objectives and performance of moderate and radical leftist governments in Latin America. It demonstrates that the differences within the contemporary Latin American left are huge, and it substantiates the common wisdom that these differences can be characterized as those between a moderate and a radical left. It occupies a distinctive, important niche in the burgeoning scholarship on the contemporary Latin American left by virtue of its sharp focus on policy objectives and policy results and of the very high quality of scholarship.”
    – Scott Mainwaring, University of Notre Dame

    “What makes the book unique – and increases its intellectual impact – is the editors’ explicit viewpoint that a certain ‘type’ of leftist government generates better outcomes for citizens. Siding with the ‘liberals’ in this debate is and will remain contentious and will generate fruitful debate. I commend the authors for seeking to push the debate forward by offering well-reasoned and well-supported arguments.”
    – David Samuels, University of Minnesota

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511771620
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 11 tables
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from eBooks.com
  • Table of Contents

    1. The performance of leftist governments in Latin America: conceptual and theoretical issues Kurt Weyland
    2. The repeating revolution: Chávez's new politics and old economics Javier Corrales
    3. The challenge of progressive change under Evo Morales George Gray Molina
    4. The Chilean left in power: achievements, failures, and omissions Evelyne Huber, Jennifer Pribble and John D. Stephens
    5. From Cardoso to Lula: the triumph of pragmatism in Brazil Peter R. Kingstone and Aldo F. Ponce
    6. Lula's administration at a crossroads: the difficult combination of stability and development in Brazil Pedro Luiz Barros Silva, José Carlos de Souza Braga and Vera Lúcia Cabral Costa
    7. The policies and performance of the contestatory and moderate left Raúl Madrid, Wendy Hunter and Kurt Weyland.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Comparative Politics: Latin America
    • Contemporary US-Latin America Relations
    • Government and Politics of Latin America
    • Latin America since 1900
    • Latin American Economics
    • Latin American Governments and Politics
    • Political Economy of Latin America
    • Political Systems of Latin America
    • Politics and Government in Latin America
    • Politics in South America
    • Politics of Latin America
    • Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Politics of South American
    • Senior Seminar-Democratic Politics
  • Editors

    Kurt Weyland, University of Texas, Austin
    Kurt Weyland is the Lozano Long Professor of Latin American Politics at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published Democracy without Equity: Failures of Reform in Brazil (1996); The Politics of Market Reform in Fragile Democracies (2002); Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion: Social Sector Reform in Latin America (2007); and many articles and book chapters on democratization, neoliberalism, populism, and social policy in Latin America. His new book project analyzes the wave-like diffusion of political regime changes across countries in Europe and Latin America, starting with the explosive spread of the 1848 revolution in both continents.

    Raúl L. Madrid, University of Texas, Austin
    Raúl L. Madrid is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Retiring the State: The Politics of Pension Privatization in Latin America and Beyond (2003). His articles on economic and social policy reform, elections and party systems, and ethnic politics in Latin America have appeared in Comparative Politics, Electoral Studies, the Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Politics and Society, the Latin American Research Review, and World Politics. He is currently working on a book on the emergence of ethno-populism in Latin America.

    Wendy Hunter, University of Texas, Austin
    Wendy Hunter, Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of Politicians Against Soldiers: Eroding Military Influence in Brazil (1997) and numerous articles and book chapters on the military and social policy issues in Latin America, as well as on the Workers' Party in Brazil. Journals in which her articles appear include Comparative Politics, the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, World Politics, and Latin American Politics and Society. She is currently finishing a book on the Workers' Party in Brazil.

    Contributors

    Kurt Weyland, Javier Corrales, George Gray Molina, Evelyne Huber, Jennifer Pribble, John D. Stephens, Peter R. Kingstone, Aldo F. Ponce, Pedro Luiz Barros Silva, José Carlos de Souza Braga, Vera Lúcia Cabral Costa, Raúl Madrid, Wendy Hunter

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