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Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies, and Trajectories of Change

Maxwell A. Cameron and Eric Hershberg, editors
Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies, and Trajectories of Change
ISBN: 978-1-58826-714-6
ISBN: 978-1-58826-739-9
ISBN: 978-1-62637-213-9
2010/289 pages/LC: 2010006847
"Offer[s] readers insightful and plausible interpretations of contemporary politics in the region."—Benjamin Goldfrank, Perspectives on Politics

"Engages readers in a historically informed, balanced, provocative, and lively conversation about the current leftist turns in Latin America, and their futures."—Shannan Mattiace, Allegheny College

"An extraordinary collection. This volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the current dynamics of Latin American politics."—Julio F. Carrion, University of Delaware


This accessible look at Latin American politics explores how—and to what effect—diverse forces on the left have not only captured the imagination of vast swathes of the continent’s population, but also taken hold of the reins of government.

The authors assess the multiple currents of Latin America's left turns, considering their origins, their relationships to political parties and social movements, and their performance in office. They also consider the challenges faced by such leaders as Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and "Lula" da Silva in efforts to address long-standing socioeconomic inequalities. Explicitly comparative and enhanced with solid empirical material, the book offers a thoughtful commentary on Latin America’s changing political environment.    


Maxwell A. Cameron is professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is author of The Making of NAFTA: How the Deal Was Done (with Brian Tomlin) and Democracy and Authoritarianism in Peru: Political Coalitions and Social Change. Eric Hershberg is director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University. His publications include Turning the Tide? Latin America After Neoliberalism and State and Society in Conflict: Comparative Perspective on Andean Crises.


  • Latin America’s Left Turns: A Tour D’Horizon—J. Beasley-Murray, M.A. Cameron, and E. Hershberg.
  • The Left Turns: Why They Happened and How They Compare—J.P. Luna.
  • Many Lefts, One Path?: Chávez and Lula—J.D. French.
  • Andean Left Turns: Constituent Power and Constitution Making—M.A. Cameron and K.E. Sharpe.
  • Venezuela Under Chávez: Beyond Liberalism—J. McCoy.
  • Bolivia's MAS: Between Party and Movement—S. Anria.
  • Constituent Power and the Caracazo: The Exemplary Case of Venezuela—J. Beasley-Murray.
  • Arguments About the Left: A Post-Liberal Politics?—B. Arditi.
  • Inequality and the Incorporation Crisis: The Left's Social Policy Toolkit—L. Reygadas and F. Filgueira.
  • Macroeconomic Policies of the New Left: Rhetoric and Reality—J.C. Moreno-Brid and I. Paunovic.
  • Foreign Investors over a Barrel: Nationalizations and Investment Policy—P.A. Haslam.
  • Latin America's Left: The Impact of the External Environment—E. Hershberg.