Latin America in the Vortex of Social Change: Development and Resistance Dynamics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Latin America in the Vortex of Social Change

Development and Resistance Dynamics, 1st Edition

By Henry Veltmeyer, James Petras


168 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-04-11
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This book explores the dynamics of the recent ‘progressive cycle’ in Latin American politics, associated with a red and pink tide of regime change. With this cycle of centre-left regimes oriented towards an alternative post-neoliberal form of development now coming to an end, coinciding with the end of a ‘primary commodities boom’ (the demand for natural resources exported in primary form on the world market), the authors seek to explore the dynamics of the transition from a progressive cycle of regimes oriented towards the search for a more inclusive form of development towards what appears to be another swing in the pendulum of electoral politics towards the far right and a return to neoliberal orthodoxy.

Within the vortex of forces of change pushing towards both the Left and the Right, Latin America lies at the centre of ongoing heated theoretical and political debates as to how to bring about a more inclusive and sustainable form of post-neoliberal and post-capitalist development. Latin America in the Vortex of Social Change crucially aims to cut through these debates and explore the dynamics of the forces of change at work in the current conjuncture of capitalist development. With reference to a theoretical framework based on the interaction of three different forms of capitalism (capitalism as usual, extractive capitalism, narco-capitalism), the authors proceed to an analysis of the development and resistance dynamics of the development process that is unfolding on the Latin American political landscape. The book will appeal to scholars of political sociology and political theory with an interest in the political economy of development and Latin American affairs.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Capitalism at Work: Economic and Social Dynamics

1. Monopoly Capital and the Agrarian Question: Contemporary Dynamics

2. Capitalism on the Extractive Frontier

3. Dynamics of Narco-Capitalism

Part 2: The Politics of Development and Resistance

4. Cycles of Development and Resistance

5. Development from Below: Constructing a Social and Solidarity Economy

6. In the Crosshairs of US Imperialism

7. The End of the Progressive Cycle

8. A Right-Wing Interlude or the Death-Rattle of Neoliberalism?

9. The Politics of Neoliberal Authoritarianism



About the Authors

Henry Veltmeyer is Senior Research Professor of Development Studies at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico, and Professor Emeritus of International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University, Canada. He is the author and editor of over forty books in areas of globalization and the political economy of development, including The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies (2018); Class Struggle in Latin America: Making History Today (2017, with James Petras); Agrarian Change, Migration and Development (2016, co-authored); and Development in an Era of Neoliberal Globalization (2016).

James Petras is Bartle Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Binghamton University, USA. He is the author of more than sixty-two books published in twenty-nine languages, and over six hundred articles in professional journals that include the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies . He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, and the 2002 Robert Kenny Award for Best Book. His books include The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East (2014); Extractivist Imperialism in the Americas (co-authored, 2014); Power and Resistance: US Imperialism in Latin America (2015/2017, co-authored); and The End of the Republic and the Delusion of Empire (2016).

About the Series

Capitalism, Power and the Imperial State

In an increasingly turbulent political landscape, this series addresses disputed theoretical and conceptual issues within the realms of political sociology and political economy, to evaluate the shifting dynamics of global power in the modern age. With attention to the ever-changing contours of economic and political world power, Capitalism, Power and the Imperial State invites contributions from scholars looking to advance the debate between theorists of globalization and advocates of class analysis and imperialism, as well as those interested in unpacking the economic configurations of power. Focusing on how power affects, and is affected by, both the higher and lower ranks of society, it seeks to investigate the relationship between the capitalist state and imperial power, the rise of emerging regional rivalries, and polarization within the imperial state between sectors of the ‘deep state’ and the regime. A timely and important opportunity to review the ongoing crisis of the capitalist state, and to evaluate the social and political factors that influence the balance of global power in the twenty-first century, this series invites research which pays attention to the impact of the class struggle on global alignments of power, and the impact of such power on the global class war between capital and labour.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General