Cuba’s economy has grown hardly at all during Raúl Castro’s presidency (beginning in 2006), hit by the economic collapse of its Venezuelan partner and burdened by a legacy of decayed infrastructure, a bankrupt sugar industry, and stagnant agriculture.
The Cuban Economy in a New Era diagnoses the ills that afflict Cuba’s economy and examines possible economic policy changes in seven areas: macroeconomic policy, central planning, small and medium private enterprises, nonagricultural cooperatives, financing options for the new private sector, state enterprise management, and relations with international financial institutions. Cuban economists have contributed these seven chapters, and the combined import is further considered in introductory and concluding chapters. The book is the culmination of over a decade of scholarly collaboration with Harvard scholars, anchored in a series of workshops held over several years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Havana.
Nearly four decades since the onset of the third wave, political parties remain weak in Latin America: parties have collapsed in much of the region, and most new party-building efforts have failed. Why do some new parties succeed while most fail? This book challenges the widespread belief that democracy and elections naturally give rise to strong parties and argues that successful party-building is more likely to occur under conditions of intense conflict than under routine democracy. Periods of revolution, civil war, populist mobilization, or authoritarian repression crystallize partisan attachments, create incentives for organization-building, and generate a 'higher cause' that attracts committed activists. Empirically rich chapters cover diverse cases from across Latin America, including both successful and failed cases.
The Handbook of Latin America in the World explains how the Latin American countries have both reacted and contributed to changing international dynamics over the last 30 years. It provides a comprehensive picture of Latin America’s global engagement by looking at specific processes and issues that link governments and other actors, social and economic, within the region and beyond. Leading scholars offer an up-to-date state of the field, theoretically and empirically, thus avoiding a narrow descriptive approach. The Handbook includes a section on theoretical approaches that analyze Latin America’s place in the international political and economic system and its foreign policy making. Other sections focus on the main countries, actors, and issues in Latin America’s international relations. In so doing, the book sheds light on the complexity of the international relations of selected countries, and on their efforts to act multilaterally.
The Routledge Handbook of Latin America in the World is a must-have reference for academics, researchers, and students in the fields of Latin American politics, international relations, and area specialists of all regions of the world.
Latin America has been one of the critical areas in the study of comparative politics. The region’s experiments with installing and deepening democracy and promoting alternative modes of economic development have generated intriguing and enduring empirical puzzles. In turn, Latin America’s challenges continue to spawn original and vital work on central questions in comparative politics: about the origins of democracy; about the relationship between state and society; about the nature of citizenship; about the balance between state and market.
The richness and diversity of the study of Latin American politics makes it hard to stay abreast of the developments in the many sub-literatures of the field. The Routledge Handbook of Latin American Politics offers an intellectually rigorous overview of the state of the field and a thoughtful guide to the direction of future scholarship. Kingstone and Yashar bring together the leading figures in the study of Latin America to present extensive empirical coverage, new original research, and a cutting-edge examination of the central areas of inquiry in the region.
In 2006, Felipe Calderón narrowly defeated Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico’s hotly contested presidential election. Mexico’s 2006 presidential race demonstrated the importance of contested elections in democratic consolidation. Consolidating Mexico’s Democracy is at once a close examination of this historic election and an original contribution to the comparative study of elections throughout the world.
The contributors to this volume—preeminent scholars from the fields of political science and government—make use of extensive research data to analyze the larger issues and voter practices at play in this election. With their exclusive use of panel surveys—where individuals are interviewed repeatedly to ascertain whether they have changed their voter preference during an election campaign—the contributors gather rich evidence that uniquely informs their assessment of the impact of the presidential campaign and the voting views of Mexican citizens.
The contributors find that, regardless of the deep polarization between the presidential candidates, the voters expressed balanced and nuanced political views, focusing on the perceived competence of the candidates. The essays here suggest the 2006 election, which was only the second fully free and competitive presidential election allowed by the Mexican government, edged the country closer to the pattern of public opinion and voting behavior that is familiar in well-established democracies in North America and Western Europe.
The relations between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and nearly all Latin American countries blossomed during the first half of the first decade of the twenty-first century. “China fever” gripped the region. Latin American presidents, ministers, business executives and journalists “discovered” China and its rapidly growing impact on the world’s economy and on Latin America itself.
The principal explanation for this boom in “China fever” was China’s own economic boom and its widening and deepening worldwide spread. In the current decade, Sino-Latin American trade, and economic relations more generally, have grown at a spectacular pace. Improved political relations were a necessary part of the expansion in economic relations because intergovernmental agreements facilitate economic relations, but the exuberance of the economic boom outpaced the improvement in political relations. Military or militarily-sensitive relations changed little, notwithstanding the fears of some in the United States and elsewhere over this question.
This essay reviews the state of the scholarly study of Mexican politics. It focuses on research on political change since 1990. It discusses the political origins of economic problems and policies, including the enactment of NAFTA and the 1994–95 financial panic. It assesses the decline of the PRI, the presidency, and official organized labor; the role of urban protest and the Zapatista insurgency; and the revitalization of Congress, the Supreme Court, and state governments. It synthesizes the principal analytical findings on parties, public opinion, and elections.
[in Jorge I. Domínguez and Chappell Lawson, eds., Mexico's Pivotal Democratic Election: Candidates, Voters, and the Presidential Campaign of 2000 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 321-344]
Mexico's 2000 presidential election campaign mattered. It closed the breach between Fox and old–line panistas, somewhat distrustful of his candicacy. It stimulated PAN voters to turn out at rates higher than those of PRI supporters on election day. It solidified the Cáredenas base in the PRD. It demoralized the PRI machinery. It detached voters from Labastida, leading them to vote for another candidate or to stay home on election day. It informed opposition strategic voters to support Fox. The proportion of voters influenced by the campaign to change their voting preference was at least two to three times greater than in U.S. presidential campaigns and at least twice Fox's margin of victory. In fact, the proportion of strategic voters alone gave Fox nearly all of his margin of victory.
Since the start of 2000, five Latin American boundary disputes between neigboring states have resulted in the use of force, and two others in its deployment. These incidents involved ten of the nineteen independent countries of South and Central America. In 1995, Ecuador and Peru went to war, resulting in more than a thousand deaths and injuries and significant economic loss. And yet, by international standards the Americas were comparatively free from interstate war during the twentieth century. Latin Americans for the most part do not fear aggression from their neighbors. They do not expect their countries to go to war with one another.
Published in Peaceworks no. 50 (August 2003): 42. United States Institute of Peace.
Prepared for delivery at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 29–September 1, 2002, Boston, Panel 11–25.
What is a "perfect dictatorship"? Such a regime provokes little societal resistance at installation. Its leaders act jointly to consolidate the regime and to broaden the support coalition by agreeing upon succession rules to rotate the presidency within the authoritarian regime. They delegate policy– making authority to civilians in areas of their competence. They emphasize consultation, not open contestation, prefer cooptation to repression, eschew ideological appeals, compel social actors into regime– licensed organizations, and deactivate civil society. South Korea under Park Chung Hee is compared on these dimensions to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, all at a time when authoritarian regimes governed them.
EL PARTEAGUAS MUNDIAL DE FINES DE LOS OCHENTA y comienzos de los noventa no dejó de afectar a Cuba. El derrumbe de los regímenes comunistas europeos y, en particular, de la Unión Soviética puso fin también a una larga etapa de la historia de Cuba comenzada en 1960. En su sistema político, económico y social, Cuba había sido distinta del resto de América durante las últimas tres décadas de la Guerra Fría en Europa. Con la desaparición de su principal aliado internacional, el gobierno de Cuba, acorralado, se vio obligado a iniciar un viraje en la conducción de su política nacional e internacional. Ese viraje, sin embargo, fue un golpe de timón de un buque anclado, cuyo piloto reorienta el barco sin alterar su equilibrio a pesar de un fuerte oleaje.
"The most important political distinction among countries concerns not their form of government but their degree of government. The differences between democracy and dictatorship are less than the differences between those countries whose politics embodies consensus, community, legitimacy, organization, effectiveness, stability, and those countries whose politics is deficient in these qualities." So begins Samuel P. Huntington's 'Political Order in Changing Societies,' one of the most widely influential and insightful books on comparative politics ever written. Its concern is normative as well as analytic. In a retrospective comment on his own writing, Huntington has noted, "I wrote [Political Order] because I thought political order was a good thing." Moreover, he added, his "purpose was to develop a general social science theory of why, how, and under what circumstances order could and could not be achieved."
The documents concerning the Cuban missile crisis, declassified by the Office of the Historian of the U.S. Department of State, reveal quite effectively a key theme in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy in 1962–63: Cuba's bizarre role within the context of U.S. government decision making. This role had somewhat contradictory dimensions.
Cuba seemed to be both an afterthought and an obsession for U.S. decision makers. Its exclusion from the diplomatic negotiations over the missile crisis was an instance of negligence, though it came about in part from a deliberate decision. Such Cuban exclusion reduced the likelihood that the United States could accomplish all of its goals in the missile crisis settlement. Moreover, information included in these documents only to some degree (or not at all) calls attention to Cuba's much greater substantive importance before and during the missile crisis than U.S. officials thought at the time. This documentary record, therefore, reminds us that the outcome of the missile crisis was so positive for the United States, to a significant degree, thanks to Soviet statesmanship in managing and controlling its unhappy Cuban ally.