This authoritative book offers a comprehensive assessment of contemporary Venezuela. Analyzing the multifaceted phenomenon of Hugo Chavez, leading scholars move beyond his flamboyant style to focus on the concerns of popular social and political movements. The book challenges the misleading notions that for several decades glorified Venezuelan "exceptionalism" and minimized the role of important actors. After setting the historical and socio-economic contexts, the contributors explore racial issues, social and labor movements, electoral politics, economic and oil policy, and United States support for the Venezuelan opposition. Underscoring the complexity of Chavez and his popularity, the book highlights the need to avoid simplistic assessments of the past and present and offers a clear-eyed understanding of Venezuelan reality today.
Steve Ellner is professor at the Universidad de Oriente, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. Miguel Tinker Salas is Arango Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a studies at Pomona College.
Introduction: New Perspectives and the Chavez Phenomenon Part I: Theoretical, Historical, and International Background Chapter 1: The Venezuelan Exceptionalism Thesis: Separating Myth from Reality Chapter 2: Venezuelan Social Conflict in a Global Context Part II: Oil and Economic Policy Chapter 3: U.S. Oil Companies in Venezuela: The Forging of an Enduring Alliance Chapter 4: Chavez and the Search for an Alternative to Neoliberalism Part III: Labor and Race Chapter 5: Trade Autonomy and the Emergence of a New Labor Movement in Venezuela Chapter 6: Ethnicity and Revolution: The Political Economy of Racism in Venezuela Part IV: Social Movements Chapter 7: Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution: Who Are the Chavistas? Chapter 8: Social Movements in a Polarized Setting: Myths of Venezuelan Civil Society Part V: Electoral Politics, Social Change, and U.S. Reaction Chapter 9: When "No" Means "Yes to Revolution": Electoral Politics in Bolivarian Venezuela Chapter 10: Confronting Hugo Chavez: United States "Democracy Promotion" in Latin America