“In Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s classic novel The Leopard, the character of the Sicilian nobleman during the Risorgimento observes, ‘If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.’ This insight of the fictional character on the cusp of major social change illustrates the Gramscian concept of passive revolution, which is at the core of Adam David Morton’s intellectually ambitious and stimulating work, Revolution and State in Modern Mexico. . . . [The book] makes several significant contributions to debates on Mexican historiography. . . . This bold application of historical sociology will be an important reference for understanding post-Revolutionary Mexico. The construct of passive revolution is also useful beyond the Mexican case to highlight the contradictions of ‘post-neoliberalism’ in twenty-first-century Latin America.”
“Adam Morton has produced a study that is nothing short of seminal. . . . Revolution and State in Modern Mexico combines theoretical sophistication and innovation with a thoroughgoing understanding of empirical complexities in an analysis that, when it comes time to construct a canon of Marxist historical sociology, will sit comfortably and appropriately among the classics whose insights it draws on and to whose legacy it contributes.”
“Adam Morton has produced an exceptional work in radical historicism on postrevolutionary Mexico and a virtuoso’s exposition of Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, passive revolution, and uneven development. His ambitious and successful undertaking delivers a highly nuanced understanding of postrevolutionary Mexican history intertwined with an analysis of the passive revolution of capital on a world scale. Weaving theory and history throughout, Morton engages a wide range of scholarly debates about the state, postcolonialism, democratization, and resistance. This book will be a must-read in the fields of Mexican and Latin American studies and provides a provocative and contrasting interpretation to mainstream ‘transition studies’ in political science. It converses with and provides a welcome contribution to the most prominent strands in historical sociology—the sociology of power, international political economy, and geography.”
The New Latin American Left: Cracks in the Empire
Edited by Jeffrey R. Webber and Barry Carr
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Publication Date: September 2012 402pp
“This volume provides a valuable focus on intraleft dynamics—the ever-shifting relations between party leaders and their allies in civil society. As a whole, the essays provide informed and in-depth analysis of such dynamics. . . .Overall, the book’s focus, critical stance, and extensive coverage make it a good candidate for classroom adoption. For instructors seeking to make contemporary Latin American politics come to life, the ground-level perspective of these essays provides a good start.”
—Latin American Politics and Society
“The resurgence of the Left in Latin America has shifted the entire political landscape in the hemisphere and, indeed, worldwide. The new Latin American Left has challenged the neoliberal order and placed socialism back on the agenda. In the process, it has raised fundamental questions over political struggle and social change in this age of global capitalism. Webber and Carr have assembled an expert interdisciplinary team on the theory and practice of the twenty-first-century Latin American Left. The contributions take up a variety of theoretical issues, ranging from political strategy to neoliberal class formation and the prospects of revolution, as well as cutting-edge case studies, among them the burgeoning social movements of the indigenous, the landless, workers and the poor, to Argentina’s experience, the Mexican Left, and Venezuela’s experiment in twenty-first-century socialism. This volume is must reading for all those who wish to understand the political thunder emanating from Latin America and the insights it offers for transformative possibilities around the world in this new century.”
—William I. Robinson, University of California, Santa Barbara; author of Latin America and Global Capitalism
“This important book systematically and thoroughly addresses the question of just how left are the leftist governments that have come to power in Latin America at the outset of the twenty-first century. Individual chapters offer different assessments. The chapters on Venezuela and Nicaragua recognize significant breakthroughs even while the governments of both nations face considerable problems, some of their own making. At the other extreme, Chile and Argentina are characterized as ‘the authorized Left’ in that they fail to break in any significant way with the established structures and are therefore accepted by Washington policymakers as legitimate. The conclusions challenge the simplistic thesis of the ‘good Left’ (e.g., Lula) and the ‘bad Left’ (e.g., Chávez). Extending the debate regarding the twenty-first-century Left to new territory, this groundbreaking collection thus represents a welcome contribution to the study of contemporary Latin American politics.”
—Steve Ellner, author of Rethinking Venezuelan Politics: Class, Conflict, and the Chávez Phenomenon
Pachakutik: Indigenous Movements and Electoral Politics in Ecuador
By Marc Becker
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Publication Date: Dec 2010 262pp
“This is a terrific book! Beyond an excellent account of Ecuador’s recent political history, Becker provides us with the history of a paradox: how the strongest Indigenous movement in the Americas found itself in campaign and alliances tat served to limit and undermine its political influence. Ideal for courses on Latin American politics and social movements, this book offers a provocative cautionary tale about the dangers of social movement success.”
—José Antonio Lucero, University of Washington
“Pachakutik, a Quechua Indian term that signifies rebirth and transformation, depicts the struggle of Ecuador’s Indigenous movement for equal rights and justice. Becker (Truman State Univ.) writes as an activist who helped the Indigenous movement establish an Internet base and participated in many of the activities he describes. He discusses the political awakening of Indigenous forces in 1990 and their ensuing massive demonstrations in reaction to deepening poverty aggravated by the government’s neoliberal economic policies that privatized public resources and functions. Actions such as the blocking of highways put pressure on Ecuadoran governments to change policies, helped bring about the overthrow of two presidents, and compelled presidents to address issues presented by the Indigenous movement. However, tangible benefits to indigenous communities were quite limited. The pachakutik movement also became engaged in electoral politics, with some success in local, regional, and national elections and the gaining of a few government cabinet positions. However, disunity among Indigenous forces and the influence of powerful national and international economic interests limited indigenous gains, leading to disillusionment and the recent decline in the political influence of the indigenous community. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections.”
Becker’s rendering of contemporary Ecuadorian politics, Indigenous organizing, and social movements is superb and reflects an insider’s knowledge of this country. Moreover, his treatment of the challenges that organizations face when transitioning from social movements to electoral politics makes this book not only ideal for classroom use but also essential reading for those wishing to gain a greater understanding of the recent grassroots democratization campaigns that have reverberated throughout the world.
—Kenneth Kincaid, Purdue University North Central
The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy
By Ronald H. Chilcote
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Publication Date: Dec 2009 328pp
“In The Portuguese Revolution, Chilcote has presented not only a wealth of information including the debates inside and outside of Portugal on the events of 1974–75 and its impact but also a model of how to analyze the dynamics of revolutionary struggle in the context of an enduring yet changing political economy. . . . [An] important new work.”
—Rosemary Galli, H-Net
“This is a carefully crafted, richly documented, and powerfully argued study. It will be of great interest to historians, political scientists, and other scholars interested in contemporary Portugal, the larger Lusophonic world, and broader questions of state power and decolonization. It has particular relevance for students working on PortugueseAfrica.”
—Allen Isaacman, University of Minnesota
Building on decades of research, leading scholar Ronald H. Chilcote provides a definitive analysis of the 1974-1975 Portuguese revolution, which captured global attention and continues to resonate today. His study revisits a key historical moment to explain the revolution and its aftermath through periods of authoritarianism and resistance as well as representative and popular democracy. Exploring the intertwined themes of class, state, and hegemony, Chilcote builds a powerful framework for understanding the Portuguese case as well as contemporary political economy worldwide.
Mexico’s Economic Dilemma: The Developmental Failure of Neoliberalism
By James M. Cypher and Raúl Delgado Wise
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Publication Date: June 2010 226pp
“The book is well written, firmly based on ample and solid empirical evidence, and supported by painstaking field research and a thorough review of the relevant literature. It is an eye opener and a must for anyone who wants to really understand contemporary Mexico s economy and society—and in fact for all those interested in the darker side of the globalization process.”
—Osvaldo Sunkel, University of Chile
“This is surely the best treatment of modern Mexican economic history and the development of an unending crisis. Mexico’s close linking to the United States through NAFTA produced an acute vulnerability to the Great Crisis, and thus Mexico’s current condition ought to be an acute embarrassment to the architects of neoliberal globalization.”
—James K. Galbraith, The University of Texas at Austin, author of The Predator State
Written by two leading scholars, this book provides a detailed analysis of Mexico’s political economy. James M. Cypher and Raúl Delgado Wise begin with an examination of Mexico’s pivotal economic crisis of the 1980s and the consequent turn toward an export-led economy, later anchored by NAFTA. They show how Mexico, after abandoning frequently successful past practices of state-led development, disastrously tied its future to an unconditional reliance on foreign corporations to promote an export-led growth strategy.
Focusing on Mexico’s cheap labor export model, the authors use the maquiladora sector and the auto industry as case studies of the perils of globalization—the “race to the bottom” as capital becomes ever more international. The government’s unconstrained free-market policies, they convincingly argue, have resulted in a fragmented economy marked by stagnation, falling wages, informal part-time employment, and massive migration, which define daily life for all but a tiny minority.
Capital, Power, and Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean – New Edition
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Publication Date: January 2008 360pp
“Provocative analyses that invert current orthodoxies. Reshapes how we think about social movements, rural societies, working class struggles and indigenous peoples.”
—Elizabeth Dore, University of Southampton
“The editors of this collection have brought together leading critical scholars with a wealth of experience behind them to provide an up-to-date survey of the main economic, political, and social aspects of contemporary Latin America. Recommended.”
—Ronaldo Munck, Dublin City University
“The first edition of Capital, Power, and Inequality in Latin America was prophetic, and this revision is even more important, especially in light of the pace and space of globalization. In the spirit of Andre Gunder Frank, it examines Latin America and globalization: the diverse alliances of women’s organizations and the growth of new social movements, political parties, indigenous movements, and environmentalist groups. While it is clearly written and appropriate for undergraduates, its analytical focus will appeal to all scholars.”
—Pat Lauderdale, Arizona State University
People’s Power: Cuba’s Experience with Representative Government – Updated Edition
By Peter Roman
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Publication Date: November 2003 304pp
People’s Poweris a theoretical, historical and analytical account of representative government that has emerged in Cuba since the 1970’s. By combining original research and extensive interviews with citizens and officials, Peter Roman illustrates how the Cuban model was built on theoretical foundations derived from Rousseau, Marx, and Lenin, and the historical precedents of the 1871 Paris Commune, the 1905 and 1917 soviets, and the pre- and post-Stalin years of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s contributions to this legacy–the Organs of People’s Power–include unique approaches to the nomination and election of municipal assembly delegates and National Assembly deputies, to citizen input and participation, and to the role of the Communist Party.
There is no other detailed study of the Cuban parliamentary system. Recorded eyewitness accounts the nominations sessions for municipal assembly delegates and the accountability sessions where citizens voice suggestions and complaints to their delegates, allow Cubans to speak for themselves. Reading this book is imperative for anyone interested in understanding the so often overlooked and misunderstood representative government that exists in Cuba today–as it has for decades.
Cardoso’s Brazil: A Land for Sale
By James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer
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Publishing Date: September 2003 160pp
Offering a systematic, critical analysis of the presidency of Fernando Cardoso, this ambitious case study assesses government policies within the framework of the ‘new economic model’ of globalization and structural adjustment. Petras and Veltmeyer argue that Cardoso paved the way for what amounted to the takeover of a large and important part of Brazil’s economy by foreign investors. The authors discuss the neoliberal model of capitalist development, the privatization of key sectors and enterprises, the human cost of structural adjustment, and the search for a community-based form of local development. The crisis in agriculture and the dynamic responses of the country’s rural landless workers precipitated the rise of Brazil’s populist new president, Lula, whom the authors charge has started down the same path as his predecessor.
Democracy: Government of the People or Government of the Politicians?
By José Nun
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Publication Date: July 2003 128pp
“Nun provides a comprehensive discussion of the theory and practice of democracy from ancient Greece to contemporary Latin America. This historical and comparative discussion of democracy is combined with his own analysis of the conditions and possibilities for the development of genuinely democratic societies in our epoch, in Latin America and throughout the world.”
—Richard Harris, California State University, Monterey Bay
Makes a number of provocative and interesting points of a philosophical nature while advocating essentially social democratic values. The work is very well worth reading….He presents a spirited argument.
—Latin America Research Review
The Marxism of Che Guevara: Philosophy, Economics, Revolutionary Warfare, Second Editio
By Michael Löwy | Foreword by Peter McLaren
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Publication Date: April 2007 178pp
In this seminal exploration of Che Guevara’s contributions to Marxist thinking, Michael Löwy traces Che’s ideas about Marxism both as they related to Latin America and to more general philosophical, political, and economic issues. Now revised and updated, this edition includes a chapter on Guevara’s search for a new paradigm of socialism and a substantive essay by Peter McLaren on Che’s continued relevance today. Lowy portrays Guevara as a revolutionary humanist who considered all political questions from an internationalist viewpoint. For him, revolutionary movements in Latin America were part of a world process of emancipation. Lowy considers especially Che’s views on the contradiction between socialist planning and the law of value in the Cuban economy and his search for an alternative road to the “actually existing socialism” of the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Soviet bloc.
Che’s varied occupations—doctor and economist, revolutionary and banker, agitator and ambassador, industrial organizer and guerrilla fighter—were expressions of a deep commitment to social change. This book eloquently captures his views on humanity, his contributions to the theory of revolutionary warfare, and his ideas about society’s transition to socialism, offering a cohesive, nuanced introduction to the range of Guevara’s thought.
The Catholic Church and Power Politics in Latin America: The Dominican Case in Comparative Perspective
By Emelio Betances
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Publication Date: May 2007 292pp
Since the 1960s, the Catholic Church has acted as a mediator during social and political change in many Latin American countries, especially the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Although the Catholic clergy was called in during political crises in all five countries, the situation in the Dominican Republic was especially notable because the Church’s role as mediator was eventually institutionalized. Because the Dominican state was persistently weak, the Church was able to secure the support of the Balaguer regime (1966–1978) and ensure social and political cohesion and stability. Emelio Betances analyzes the particular circumstances that allowed the Church in the Dominican Republic to accommodate the political and social establishment; the Church offered non-partisan political mediation, rebuilt its ties with the lower echelons of society, and responded to the challenges of the evangelical movement. The author’s historical examination of church-state relations in the Dominican Republic leads to important regional comparisons that broaden our understanding of the Catholic Church in the whole of Latin America.