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Modern Latin American Politics

Grace Livingstone

This session considers political governance and political movements in Latin America from the early twentieth century to the current day.  It gives an overview of liberalism, populism, military dictatorships, the transition to democracy, neo-liberalism and the rise of new left governments.   It discusses how far political formations can be related to the political economy of Latin America and its changing sociology or whether political developments can be better understood by analysing institutional structures, political parties and the practice of political actors.   Using a historical perspective we will analyse current political events in Latin America.

Key words:  populism, dictatorship,  neoliberalism, institutionalism, structuralism, rational choice

Required Reading (see Moodle)

  • Thomas Skidmore and Peter Smith, Modern Latin America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) Chapter 2,  pp.42-68
  • Guillermo O’Donnell, Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Argentina 1966-1973 in Comparative Perspective (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), Chapter 1, pp. 1-39.
  • Francisco Panizza. (ed), Populism and the Mirror of Democracy, (London:Verso, 2005), Introduction pp. 1-32
  • Ernesto Stein and Mariano Tommasi (eds.), Policymaking in Latin America: How Politics Shapes Policies (New York: Inter-American Development Bank, 2008).  Please choose one of the country chapters in this collection and be ready to summarise it for the rest of the class.

Further Reading

  • Ruth Berins Collier & Samuel Handlin (eds.) Reorganizing Popular Politics: Participation and the New Interest Regime In Latin America ( University Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009)
  • Steven Levitsky, James Loxton, Brandon Van Dyck, Jorge I. Dominguez (eds.), Challenges of Party Building in Latin America (New York: Cambridge University Press: 2016)
  • Peter Kingstone and Deborah Yashar, Routledge Handbook of Latin American Politics (New York: Routledge, 2017)
  • Steve Ellner, Latin America’s Radical Left: Challenges and Complexities of Political Power in the Twenty First Century (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlfield, 2014)
  • Scott Mainwaring and Timothy R Scully, (eds.) Democratic Governance in Latin America (Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 2010)
  • Scott Mainwaring and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival and Fall (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • Scott Mainwaring and Timothy R. Scully (eds.), Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America (Stanford: Stanford Univeristy Press, 1995)
  • Gabriel Negretto,Making Constitutions: Presidents, Parties and Institutional Choice (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • Pía Riggirozzi & Christopher Wylde, Handbook of South American Governance (London: Routledge, 2017)
  • Harry Vanden and Gary Prevost (eds.) Politics of Latin America: The Power Game (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).