Latin American Politics and Society

Latin American Politics & Society
Volume 48, Number 1, Spring 2006



    Eaton, Kent, 1968-
  • Decentralizationís Nondemocratic Roots: Authoritarianism and Subnational Reform in Latin America
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Latin America -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
    • Decentralization in government -- Latin America.
    • Authoritarianism -- Latin America.
      This study challenges the common view of authoritarianism as an unambiguously centralizing experience by investigating the subnational reforms that military governments actually introduced in Latin America. It argues that the decision by military authorities to dismiss democratically elected mayors and governors opened a critical juncture for the subsequent development of subnational institutions. Once they centralized political authority, the generals could contemplate changes that expanded the institutional, administrative, and governing capacity of subnational governments. This article shows how cross-national variation in the content and consistency of the generals' economic goals led to quite distinct subnational changes; in each case, these reforms profoundly shaped the democracies that reemerged in the 1980s and 1990s.
    Arce, Moisés.
  • The Societal Consequences of Market Reform in Peru
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Peru -- Economic policy.
    • Structural adjustment (Economic policy) -- Social aspects -- Peru.
    • Economic stabilization -- Social aspects -- Peru.
      This article analyzes how market reform policies already in place affect social interests, and the feedback effects of those interests on reform processes. The variety of societal responses includes the creation of new societal organizations, reflecting the variable content and asymmetrical distribution of costs and benefits of the policies implemented. Because of this variety even in Peru, where the disorganizing effects of neoliberal reform appear to be strongest, it would seem that the societal impact of economic reform elsewhere in Latin America would also warrant more careful examination.
    Davis, Diane E., 1953-
  • Undermining the Rule of Law: Democratization and the Dark Side of Police Reform in Mexico
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Democratization -- Mexico -- Mexico City.
    • Rule of law -- Mexico -- Mexico City.
    • Police corruption -- Mexico -- Mexico City.
      This article asks whether democratization, under certain historical conditions, may relate to the deteriorating rule of law. Focusing on Mexico City, where police corruption is significant, this study argues that the institutionalized legacies of police power inherited from Mexico's one-party system have severely constrained its newly democratic state's efforts to reform the police. Mexico's democratic transition has created an environment of partisan competition that, combined with decentralization of the state and fragmentation of its coercive and administrative apparatus, exacerbates intrastate and bureaucratic conflicts. These factors prevent the government from reforming the police sufficiently to guarantee public security and earn citizen trust, even as the same factors reduce capacity, legitimacy, and citizen confidence in both the police and the democratically elected state. This article suggests that when democracy serves to undermine rather than strengthen the rule of law, more democracy can actually diminish democracy and its quality.
    Staab, Silke.
    Maher, Kristen Hill.
  • The Dual Discourse About Peruvian Domestic Workers in Santiago de Chile: Class, Race, and a Nationalist Project
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Domestics -- Chile -- Santiago.
    • Alien labor, Peruvian -- Chile -- Santiago.
    • Chile -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects.
    • Peru -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects.
      This article examines the functions of the "dual discourse" about Peruvian migrant domestic workers in contemporary Santiago. A 2002 field study found that middle-class employers of Peruvian workers simultaneously praised them as superior workers and denigrated them as uneducated and uncivilized. While this response is not unique to Santiago, this study argues that it fulfilled particular ideological functions in this context. The praise served to discipline the Chilean working class, who middle-class employers claimed no longer knew their place. The epithets served as a foil for Chilean national identity. Stories about Peruvians serve as tools in ongoing ideological contestations over class, race, and nation in Chile and, at the same time, shape the working conditions and integration of the migrants themselves.
    Rousseau, Stéphanie.
  • Womenís Citizenship and Neopopulism: Peru Under the Fujimori Regime
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Women in politics -- Peru.
    • Women's rights -- Peru.
    • Peru -- Politics and government -- 1980-
      This article argues that the increased participation of women in Peruvian politics in the 1990s and the advances made in some areas of their citizenship rights are connected to the strategies put in place by some sectors of the women's movement and to the openings provided by the Fujimori regime. Some of the impact of neopopulist rule on political institutions is shown to be positively related to women's increased opportunities during this period; yet the weak rule of law and the political use of the women's agenda by an increasingly questionable regime placed the women's movement in a complex political panorama. A disaggregated analysis of the politics of women's citizenship reveals that women from the popular sectors did not benefit from the same progress in their rights claims as women from the feminist movement or women in party politics.
    Parish, Randall R.
  • Democrats, Dictators, and Cooperation: The Transformation of Argentine-Chilean Relations
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Argentina -- Foreign relations -- Chile.
    • Chile -- Foreign relations -- Argentina.
    • Argentina -- Foreign relations -- 1983-2002.
    • Chile -- Foreign relations -- 1988-
      This article explores how Argentina and Chile put aside a century-long rivalry to form a dynamic regional partnership in the years after 1984. Their experience suggests that interstate behavior is more complex than many theories admit. Cooperation increased during and after the Cold War, with severe and moderate debt burdens, between economic liberalizers and statists, and under authoritarian and democratic regimes. This study uses institutional analysis to argue that executives were the indispensable actors who combined institutionally focused incentives and the ability to forge cooperative agreements. Previous attempts between Argentina and Chile, as well as elsewhere on the continent, failed when weak executives in one or both countries could not sustain cooperation over domestic opposition. Two crucial points are Alfonsín's and Pinochet's foundation-building agreements in 1984–85 and Menem's and Aylwin's deepening institutionalization of the relationship in 1990–91.

Critical Debates

    Ellner, Steve.
  • Globalization, Macroeconomic Policies, and Latin American Democracy
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Margheritis, Ana, ed. Latin American democracies in the new global economy.
    • Robinson, William I. Theory of global capitalism: production, class, and state in a transnational world.
    • Roett, Riordan, 1938-, ed. Latin America in a changing global environment.
    • Paz, Guadalupe, 1970-, ed.
    • Smith, Peter H., ed. East Asia and Latin America: the unlikely alliance.
    • Horisaka, Kotaro, 1944-, ed.
    • Nishijima, Shoji, ed.
    • Weyland, Kurt Gerhard. Politics of market reform in fragile democracies: Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela.
    • Whitehead, Laurence, ed. Emerging market democracies: East Asia and Latin America.
    • Latin America -- Economic conditions -- 1982-
    • Capitalism.

Book Reviews

    McSherry, J. Patrice.
  • The School of the Americas: Military Training and Political Violence in the Americas (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Gill, Lesley. School of the Americas: military training and political violence in the Americas.
    • U.S. Army School of the Americas.
    Crandall, Russell, 1971-
  • Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: The Impact of U.S. Policy (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Youngers, Coletta, ed. Drugs and democracy in Latin America: the impact of U.S. policy.
    • Rosin, Eileen, 1954-, ed.
    • Drug control -- United States.
    Shifter, Michael.
  • The Andes in Focus: Security, Democracy, and Economic Reform (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Crandall, Russell, 1971-, ed. Andes in focus: security, democracy, and economic reform.
    • Paz, Guadalupe, 1970-, ed.
    • Roett, Riordan, 1938-, ed.
    • Andes Region -- Politics and government.
    Arnson, Cynthia.
  • Freedom of Expression in El Salvador: The Struggle for Human Rights and Democracy (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Ladutke, Lawrence Michael, 1969- Freedom of expression in El Salvador: the struggle for human rights and democracy.
    • Political participation -- El Salvador.
    Roitman, Karem.
  • Liberalismo y temor: imaginando los sujetos indígenas en el Ecuador postcolonial, 1895-1950 (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Prieto, Mercedes. Liberalismo y temor: imaginando los sujetos indígenas en el Ecuador postcolonial, 1895-1950.
    • Indians of South America -- Ecuador -- Social conditions.
    Greene, Kenneth F.
  • Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Shirk, David A., 1971- Mexico's new politics: the PAN and democratic change.
    • Partido Acción Nacional (Mexico)

[Project MUSE] [Search Page] [Journals] [Journal Directory] [Top]