1st Edition

What's Left in Latin America? Regime Change in New Times

By James Petras, Henry Veltmeyer Copyright 2009

    This book concerns recent and current political developments in Latin America related to the emergence of left-leaning regimes riding the waves of anti-neoliberalism and a primary commodities boom. Based on five years of field research and a critical engagement with social movements in the region, the book documents the short-term advances and strategic weaknesses of these left-leaning regimes, highlighting their failure to take advantage of favourable economic and political conditions. The authors profile four cases of recent and current political developments, and the prospects for socialism, in Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela.

    Acknowledgments; Introduction; Chapter 1 Paradoxes of Latin American Development; Chapter 2 Latin America at the Crossroads: In the Vortex of Change; Chapter 3 Argentina: From Crisis and Rebellion to Growth and Pragmatic Neoliberalism; Chapter 4 Bolivia: Class Dynamics and Regime Politics; Chapter 5 Cuba: Continuing Revolution and New Contradictions; Chapter 6 Venezuela: Democracy, Socialism and Imperialism; Chapter 7 Back to the Future or Fastforward to the Past?;


    James Petras is Emeritus Bartle Professor, Binghampton University, New York, USA. Henry Veltmeyer is Adjunct Professor, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

    ’Another must read work by two intellectual heavyweights. Petras and Veltmeyer pull no punches in aiming their incisive analysis at Latin America’s Pink Tide. Readers get constructive criticism of the Left from the Left. The result is a provocative and sobering invitation to dispense with feel good politics, revisit class analysis and rethink the contradictory drama that is Latin America.’ Richard A. Dello Buono, New College of Florida, USA 'Reacting to social activism south of the border, US politicians and pundits are prone to ask, "Where is Latin America headed?" Petras and Veltmeyer deftly demonstrate that while Latin America is indeed headed out of the US backyard, it is not necessarily headed toward greater equality. This book offers crucial insights and guidelines for transforming political energy into durable economic change.' Jan Knippers Black, Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA ’Recommended.’ Choice 'What's Left in Latin America provides a deeper theorization of the mobilization of social movements, the development of social power through collective action and the limitations of the centre and centre-left regimes... They draw upon a wealth of economic statistics, much of it from United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean [...] to make their case. Their analysis of the current conjuncture builds upon a critical engagement with social movements over three years of field research... In terms of the character of the new left regimes, What's Left provides a detailed critique which constitutes the work's main contribution... Petras and Veltmeyer develop their critique on strong foundations... Petras and Veltmeyer identify important lessons of the past and present...' Socialist Studies/Etudes Socialistes