In this fresh look at Venezuelan politics, Steve Ellner emphasizes the central significance of the country's economic and social cleavages. Ellner's journey through modern Venezuelan history - observing popular masses and social actors as much as political elites and formal institutions - fundamentally informs his analysis of Hugo Chavez's presidency and the 'Bolivarian Revolution' at its core. Perhaps equally important, as he explores the rise of Chavismo, opposition within the country and abroad, internal tensions in the Chavista movement, and the trajectory of the Chavez government domestically and on the international stage, he sheds new light not only on Venezuela, but also on the recent political turmoil elsewhere in Latin America. This title offers a fresh perspective on Venezuelan politics from the colonial period to the present, emphasizing the central significance of the country's economic and social cleavages.
Steve Ellner is professor of history at the Universidad de Oriente in Venezuela. His recent publications include Neoliberalismo y Anti-Neoliberalismo en America Latina and Venezuela: Hugo Chavez and the Decline of an ""Exceptional Democracy"" (coedited with Miguel Tinker Salas).
Foreword - Kenneth Roberts. Introduction: Rethinking Venezuelan Politics. From the Colonial Period to 1958: A Brief Overview. Venezuela's ""Model"" Democracy, 1958-1989. Neoliberal Reforms and Political Crisis, 1989-1999. The Four Stages of the Chavez Presidency. Conflicting Currents in the Chavez Movement. The Chavez Movement's Top-Down and Grassroots Approaches. The Chavez Government in the International Arena.; Conclusion.