Since the appearance of the first edition of this text in 1974, the book has stimulated an ongoing debate about the nature of the Latin American development process. Although the essays discuss a wide range of historical, economic, political, and social issues, they are unified in arguing that the Latin American experience of development is subject to special imperatives of analysis and interpretation not generally offered in the Western literature on development and social change. Arguing that West ern models are often inappropriate when applied to Latin America, the authors explore alternative approaches to understanding the Latin American pattern of development and change. The third edition retains classic essays from earlier editions but has been extensively revised to take account of the dramatic changes in the region over the last ten years. Looking particularly at the challenges presented by redemocratization and the new pluralism, the book raises the question of whether a "distinct tradition" still remains. New readings discuss the implications of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, the changing role of the church, the process of democratization, and human rights issues and speculate on the permanence of Latin America's more pluralistic political structures.
Preface -- Introduction: Social Change, Political Development, and the Latin American Tradition -- Historical Interpretations -- A Framework for Latin American Culture -- The Spanish American Past—Enemy of Change -- The Tradition of Monistic Democracy in Latin America -- Claims of Political Tradition -- Independence, Change, and the Special Nature of Latin American Development -- Centralism and Nationalism in Latin America -- Toward a Theory of Spanish American Government -- Spanish America, 1900–1970: Tradition and Social Innovation -- From Church and State to Religion and Politics and Back Again -- Toward a Framework for Analysis and Understanding -- Latin America: Illusion or Reality? A Case for a New Analytic Framework for the Region -- Law and Political Development in Latin America: Toward a Framework for Analysis -- Toward a Theory of Latin American Politics -- Understanding Latin American Politics: Analytic Models and Intellectual Traditions -- Implications for Policy -- Pipe Dreams: The Pluralistic Latins -- On Democracy and Democratization -- Conclusion: Toward a Model of Social Change and Political Development in Latin America—Summary, Implications, Frontiers