The Class Struggle in Latin America : Making History Today book cover
1st Edition

The Class Struggle in Latin America
Making History Today

ISBN 9781138720220
Published July 10, 2017 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

The Class Struggle in Latin America: Making History Today analyses the political and economic dynamics of development in Latin America through the lens of class struggle. Focusing in particular on Peru, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, the book identifies how the shifts and changing dynamics of the class struggle have impacted on the rise, demise and resurgence of neo-liberal regimes in Latin America.

This innovative book offers a unique perspective on the evolving dynamics of class struggle, engaging both the destructive forces of capitalist development and those seeking to consolidate the system and preserve the status quo, alongside the efforts of popular resistance concerned with the destructive ravages of capitalism on humankind, society and the global environment.

Using theoretical observations based on empirical and historical case studies, this book argues that the class struggle remains intrinsically linked to the march of capitalist development. At a time when post-neo-liberal regimes in Latin America are faltering, this supplementary text provides a guide to the economic and political dynamics of capitalist development in the region, which will be invaluable to students and researchers of international development, anthropology and sociology, as well as those with an interest in Latin American politics and development.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Class Struggle Back on the Agenda

Chapter 2 Extractivism and Resistance: A New Era

Chapter 3 Accumulation by Dispossession — and the Resistance

Chapter 4 The Progressive Cycle in Latin American Politics

Chapter 5 Argentina: The Return of the Right

with Mario Hernández

Chapter 6 Brazil: Class Struggle in the Countryside

João Márcio Mendes Pereira and Paulo Alentejano

Chapter 7 Democracy Without the Workers: 25 years of the Labour Movement and Mature Neoliberalism in Chile

Sebastián Osorio and Franck Gaudichaud

Chapter 8 Mexico: Dynamics of a Class War

Chapter 9 Paraguay: Class Struggle on the Extractive Frontier

Arturo Ezquerro-Cañete

Chapter 10 Peru: The Return of the Class Struggle from Below

Jan Lust

Chapter 11 Venezuela: In the Eye of the Storm

Chapter 12 The Return of the Right


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"This is a very important book. Without economic reductionism Petras and Veltmeyer expose the astonishing level of greed, exploitation and inequality, associated with the world capitalist system. They also provide a sharp and much-needed class analysis of the contradictions of both capitalism and imperialism, and the propensity towards crisis that has assumed global proportions and undermined the foundations of the system as well as generating powerful forces of resistance and class warfare."  John Saxe-Fernandez, Professor of Latin American Studies, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; author of inter alia, Crisis e imperialismo, La energía en México. Situación y alternativas, Economic Imperialism in Mexico: The Operations of the World Bank in our Country.

"The particular value of this timely book is that it provides a critical perspective on the destructive impacts of a world capitalist system in crisis. It not only addresses the worldwide dynamics of capitalist development, but also the forces of resistance generated by these dynamics as well as proposals for alternative futures advanced within both the popular sector and academe. It is an analytical tool of vital interest to both academic researchers and students within the broad field of international development studies, political economy and sociology." – Richard L Harris, Professor Emeritus of Global Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay. Managing Editor, Journal of Developing Societies and Director of the Transpacific Project.

"This timely book superbly analyzes in class terms US interventionism, the faltering of Latin America's progressive reforms, right-wing comebacks for neoliberalism in Brazil, Argentina, and elsewhere, and the combined anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist class struggle in Venezuela. Theoretically and politically acute, it is a must acquisition for libraries, journalists, academics, and activists."James Cockcroft, Honorary Editor Latin American Perspectives, USA

"This book is a lively, engaging and lucid analysis of the diverse practices of the class struggles taking place in multiple sites by indigenous peoples, unemployed workers, landless peasants, local communities and students. It powerfully illuminates the demise of the ‘pink tide’ as well as the rise of, and turn to, the right; always persuasively stressing the centrality of class struggle. Required reading for those wishing to gain an understanding of the class forces shaping contemporary Latin America." Cristóbal Kay, Emeritus Professor of the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam; and Professorial Research Associate of the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

‘In this stimulating book James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer analyse recent social transformations in Latin America. They highlight how despite continual elite opposition, the region’s poor attempt and succeed in generating progressive social change. The authors argue, moreover, that struggles from below have the capacity to generate further and more profound transformations in the future. This book will be of great value to anyone interested in contemporary Latin America.’Professor Benjamin Selwyn, University of Sussex, UK