After Neoliberalism?: The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America

Paperback | April 23, 2012

byGustavo Flores-Macias

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The political trajectory of Latin America in the last decade has been remarkable. The left, which had been given up for dead across the region, swept into power in numerous countries: Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and even Chile. Moreover, the Mexican left, which lost anextremely close (and disputed) election a couple of years ago, may yet come to power in 2012. Once these left governments took the reins of power, though, they acted very differently. Some have been truly radical, while others have been moderate. Gusatvo Flores-Macias' After Neoliberalism? offers the first systemic explanation of why left-wing governments across the region have acted in the way that they have. His theory hinges on party systems. Deeply institutionalized, stable party systems have forestalled radical change regardless ofthe governing party's philosophy, but states with weakly institutionalized party systems have opened the door for more radical reform. Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez, then, are not simply more radical than Lula and Chile's Michele Bachelet (who left office in March 2010). Rather, weak party systemsallowed them to adopt more radical policies. Flores-Macias is careful to add that weak party systems also allow for rightwing radicals to enact policies more easily, but at this historical conjuncture, the left has the upper hand. Utilizing a rich base of empirical evidence drawn from elevencountries, After Neoliberalism? will reshape our understanding of not simply why the left has had such a far-reaching triumph, but how it actually governs.

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The political trajectory of Latin America in the last decade has been remarkable. The left, which had been given up for dead across the region, swept into power in numerous countries: Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and even Chile. Moreover, the Mexican left, which lost anextremely close (and disputed) election a couple...

Gustavo Flores-Macias is Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 23, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199891672

ISBN - 13:9780199891672

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Table of Contents

List of TablesList of FiguresI. Introduction: The Left and the Challenge to Market Orthodoxy in Latin AmericaII. Economic Reforms: The Dependent VariableIII. Party Systems and Leftist Governments' Economic PoliciesIV. Party System in Disarray: Venezuela's Statist RevisionismV. Progressively Institutionalized Party System: Brazil's Moderate ReformsVI. Highly Institutionalized Party System: Chile's Pro-market ContinuityVII. ConclusionVIII. ReferencesAppendix A: Leftist Victories in Presidential Elections in Latin AmericaAppendix B: Sources and Data for Hypotheses Testing in Chapter 3