Comparative Politics of Latin America
Democracy at Last?
Routledge – 2011 – 608 pages
This text offers a unique balance of comparative politics theory and interdisciplinary country-specific context, of a thematic organization and in-depth country case studies, of culture and economics, of scholarship and pedagogy. No other textbook draws on such a diverse range of scholarly literature to help students understand the ins and outs of politics in Latin America today.
The insightful historical background in early chapters provides students with a way to think about how the past influences the present. However, while history plays a part in this text, comparative politics is the primary focus, explaining through detailed case studies and carefully paced analysis such concepts as democratic breakdown and transition, formal and informal institutions, the rule of law, and the impact of globalization. Concepts and theories from comparative politics are well integrated into country-specific narratives and vice versa, leading to a richer understanding of both.
Several important pedagogical aids foster student learning:
- Learning objectives at the start of every chapter
- "Learning checkpoints" interspersed in chapters to ensure comprehension
- Bolded key terms focus attention on important concepts
- Glossary at the end of the book provides a useful reference
- Discussion questions at the end of each chapter
- Integrated case studies on most countries in the region
- A companion website with practice quizzes and other useful study aids.
Part I: Comparative Political Theory and Latin American Area Studies 1. Conceptions of Democracy 2. Inequality, Political Culture, and Popular Sovereignty Part II: History: Colonial Legacies, Mass Politics and Democracy 3. Democratic and Autocratic Threads in Latin American History 4. Political Without Economic Independence Part III: Development, Mass Politics in the Twentieth Century 5. Development and Dependency: Theory and Practice in Latin America 6. Populism, Development and Democracy in the Twentieth Century Part IV: Democratic Breakdown, Economic Struggles, and Transitions 7. Democratic Breakdown and Military Rule 8. State and Market in Latin America 9. Transitions and "Pact Democracies" in Brazil and the Southern Cone 10. Transitions of Party-Dominant Regimes in Mexico and Venezuela Part V: Revolution and Democracy 11. Nationalism and Revolution in Mexico and Cuba 12. Democracy in Times of Revolution Part VI: Movements, Civil Society and Parties 13. Social Class and Politics in Latin America 14. "New" Social Movements, New Politics? 15. Parties and Electoral Politics Part VII: Rights, Institutions and Law: the Formal Rules of the Game 16. Institutions, Constitutions and Governance 17. Corruption, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law Part VIII: Globalization and the Role of the United States 18. Democracy in Times of Globalization 19. Democracy, Intervention and American Foreign Policy
Daniel C. Hellinger is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Relations program at Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. He has published numerous scholarly articles and books on Latin American politics, is past president of the Venezuelan Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association, serves as a Participating Editor for Latin American Perspectives, serves on the advisory board for the Washington based Center for Democracy, and regularly comments on Latin American politics for the InterAmerican Dialogue’s Latin American Advisor.
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