Leftist Governments in Latin America: Successes and Shortcomings

Leftist Governments in Latin America: Successes and Shortcomings

By: Raul L. Madrid (editor), Wendy Hunter (editor), Kurt Weyland (editor)Hardback

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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 Chavez in Venezuela, have expanded state intervention and popular participation and attained some short-term economic and social successes.

About Author

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. Raul 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, 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.


1. The performance of leftist governments in Latin America: conceptual and theoretical issues Kurt Weyland; 2. The repeating revolution: Chavez'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, Jose Carlos de Souza Braga and Vera Lucia Cabral Costa; 7. The policies and performance of the contestatory and moderate left Raul Madrid, Wendy Hunter and Kurt Weyland.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521762205
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 232
  • ID: 9780521762205
  • weight: 520
  • ISBN10: 0521762200

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