1st Edition

Refeudalization and the Crisis of Civilization Political essays by Olaf Kaltmeier and Edgardo Lander

By Olaf Kaltmeier, Edgardo Lander Copyright 2023
    248 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Discussing the civilizatory crisis and processes of refeudalization this volume brings into dialogue two of the most creative approaches, in Olaf Kaltmeier and Edgardo Lander, to rethink capitalism in the 21st century.

    In Part 1, Olaf Kaltmeier, takes issue with the state of social inequality in the region, highlighting the concentration of wealth within the upper 1% of society in Latin America. Comparing the current economic situation with the ancient regime, the discussion centers around the new phenomena like billionaires as president, increased luxury consumption, an emerging culture of distinction, and the intensification of land and spatial segregation. In Part 2, Lander urgently assesses the current state and political legacy of the "Pink Tide" governments in his essay "Crisis of Civilization." Reviewing the past two decades of the new millennium, Lander critiques the failure of these governments to provide alternatives to extractivism and economic dependencies. Finally, Hans-Jürgen Burchardt connects the arguments through interviews where both authors sum their efforts to open the issues to future dialogue.

    Refeudalization in Latin America provides an accessible and thought-provoking political diagnosis from the Global South which departs from the oft idiosyncratic and cyclical debates of the Global North to offer new vocabulary for social change. It will interest scholars and students of global studies, sociology, and political science.


    1. Crisis of Civilization

    2. The Refuedalization of Society

    3. Author Interview

    Hans-Jürgen Burchardt


    Olaf Kaltmeier is Professor of Iberoamerican History at Bielefeld University. He is director of CALAS, the Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Science and founding director of the Center for the Center for InterAmerican Studies (CIAS) at Bielefeld University. He has done research and teaching in Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, and the USA.

    Edgardo Lander is Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences at the Universidad Central Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas. He served on the Organizing Committee of the World Social Forum held in Venezuela in 2006. As part of the Venezuelan delegation, he participated in negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, which was ultimately defeated. Other positions include Fellow of the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam); member of the academic advisory board of CALAS (Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies); participant of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Latin American Working Group on Alternatives to Development, at its regional office in Quito; and Visiting Professor in the Latin American Cultural Studies Doctoral Program at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador.