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Snipers in the Kitchen
Amid ongoing political turbulence in Latin America, Juan Carlos Monedero mobilizes the resources of state theory, from Gramsci to Poulantzas, to provide a comparative critical analysis of the cycle of left governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil.
Feminism and Neoliberalism in Latin America
Verónica Schild tests Nancy Fraser’s hypothesis of an elective affinity between feminism and neoliberalism against the material and cultural realities of Latin America. Shifting meanings of liberationist strategies for women’s autonomy and popular pedagogy in an epoch of free-market economics and NGOization.
21st Century Welfare
Latin America as laboratory for conditional cash transfers, fast becoming the hegemonic social-protection paradigm for the Global South. In a comparative survey, Lena Lavinas reveals the CCT model as a strategy for the financialization—not abolition—of poverty.
'What exists cannot be true'
The Argentinian historian of the Mexican Revolution recalls his life as a roving agitator. Worlds of rebel workers, from the barrios of Buenos Aires to the Bolivian altiplano and Guatemalan jungle, Lecumberri Prison to the streets of Paris and Rome.
Asset-Stripping the State
Within the global wave of privatizations, those enacted in Latin America stand out for their breathtaking speed and scale. Medeiros contends that the principal motivation was not economic but political, driven by new capitalist coalitions emerging from the 1980s debt crisis.
The End of Kirchnerism
The turbulent beginning of the Fernández presidency marks the end of Kirchnerism in Argentina. Maristella Svampa surveys its record, noting ruptures and continuities—both rhetorical and substantial—with its predecessors in economic policy, social indicators and modes of rule.
The Weakest Link? Neoliberalism in Latin America
The continent that once served as laboratory for the Washington Consensus now represents the most substantial challenge to its prescriptions. A survey of left strategies, from Buenos Aires to Mexico City, and prospects for counter-hegemonic regional integration.
Transformed from murder capital to corporate boom town, Medellín has been hailed as a rare urban success story for neo-conservatism in South America. The singular progression of Escobar and Uribe’s hometown—cattle-trading post, industrial centre, drug-trafficking hub, neoliberal Latin Mecca.
Lula in the Labyrinth
Amid the complex cross-currents of the Latin American political scene, where to situate Lula’s Brazil? Dynamics of neo-populism and statification, social credits and government graft as elements of a novel reconstitution of power under a Workers Party president.
Collision in Venezuela
What has lain behind the massive social conflicts that have unfurled round the Chávez regime? The spurious and real reasons for the rampage of Venezuelan managers, media and middle class against the country’s elected President. Oil, land and urban rights as the stakes in a social war of colour and class.
'Considering Coldly ...'
Does Spanish American literature illustrate or overturn the idea that in the ‘world republic of letters’ economic and cultural relations between centre and periphery run parallel? A Peruvian assesses Franco Moretti’s conjectures (NLR 1), and springs some surprises about Beckett.
Chronicle of a City Foretold
Andy Merrifield on Mike Davis, Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City. What are the patterns, and what will be the consequences—social, cultural, political—of the massive influx of immigrants from lands south of the Rio Grande into North American cityscapes?
Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City
Sometime during 1996, at the very latest, Latinos surpassed Blacks as the second largest ethno-racial group in New York City. (They long have been the largest census group in the Bronx.) There were no street celebrations in El Barrio or Washington Heights, nor did the mayor hold a . . . read more
Fosterites and Feminists, Or 1950s Ultra-Leftists and the Invention of AmeriKKKa
‘It suffices but to mention the chauvinist ideology which still penetrates the core and culture of our national life, rendering many people susceptible to infliction from this social disease.’—Claudia Jones read more
Siren/Hyphen; Or, the Maid Beguiled
‘This female savage’, noted the missionary Jean-Baptiste Labat, in his Nouveau voyage aux îles de l’Amérique, ‘was, I believe, one of the oldest creatures in the world. It is said she was very beautiful at one time. . .’ He was describing a Carib known as Madame Ouvernard, . . . read more
Really Existing Democracy: Learning from Latin America in the Late 1990s
The resurgence of democracy in Latin America in the last decade or so came as a surprise to many who saw the continent, if not the whole of the Third World, as producing conditions which favoured only the exercise of tyranny. Latin American democracy will indeed remain surprising . . . read more
Latin America: The Resurgence of the Left
The Left in Latin America is staging a major comeback. While most publicists, journalists, academics, government and World Bank officials either celebrate or bemoan the triumph of ‘neoliberalism’, opposition is growing which in time could challenge the dominance of the whole free-market power structure. As yet only loosely . . . read more
Negotiating Caribbean Identities
In this lecture I will address questions of Caribbean culture and identity. I want to suggest that such questions are not in any sense separate or removed from the problems of political mobilization, of cultural development, of economic development and so on. The more we know and see . . . read more
Revolutionary Unevenness in Central America
James Dunkerley’s Power in the Isthmus ranks together with recent books by Weeks and Bulmer-Thomas as one of the best English-language works on Central America. He presents a broad, successful and systematic analysis of a huge bibliography, especially of materials published in the region, and aptly combines the . . . read more
Corporate Reconstruction and Business Unionism: The Lessons of Caterpillar and Ford
Technological determinism has recently emerged as the favoured theme of those who seek to challenge the centrality of class politics within the British labour movement. This somewhat uncharacteristic perspective is used to argue that new production technologies are directly creating a new political environment. Production processes, it is . . . read more
The Abortive Abertura: South Korea in the Light of Latin American Experience
I wish in this essay to peer through the Latin American looking glass, or abertura, to see what light may be shed on the ongoing struggle to democratize the South Korean political system. In Latin America the richest literature on the problems and prospects of democratization emerged along . . . read more
Resurgent Democracy: Threat and Promise
In ‘ “Resurgent Democracy”: Rhetoric and Reality’, nlr 154, Edward Herman and James Petras condemn us support for new democracies in South and Central America as hypocritical and opportunist. They also point out the wilful confusion involved in deliberately associating genuine democratization in South America with a . . . read more
'Resurgent Democracy': Rhetoric and Reality
During the past year Reagan administration officials and the us press have pointed with frequency and enthusiasm to a resurgence of democracy in Latin America. Secretary of State George Schultz, for example, has spoken of ‘more people voting in more elections in more countries than ever before . . . read more
Art and Dialectic in the Work of Wilson Harris
In his first major work, Tristes Tropiques, Claude Lévi-Strauss made the point that the anthropologist had become the ‘hero’, shaman and priest of the secular world, his expeditions into the savage hinterland a modern-day substitute for the primitive rite of passage into manhood, power and prestige within the . . . read more
Cold War in the Caribbean
Amidst the general worsening of East-West relations, and the sharply antagonistic policy of the usa towards the Third World, a new political situation has emerged in the Caribbean. The region itself has a population of around twenty-nine millions, and comprises thirteen independent island states, numerous European and . . . read more
Central America: Crisis in the Backyard
The five republics south of Mexico seemed until the late 1970s the most secure region of domination for a us imperial system in retreat after the trauma of South East Asia. Many saw Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista victory over the Somoza dynasty as merely vindication of theories of . . . read more
Latin America: Between Hobbes and Friedman
In recent years a major preoccupation of everyone interested in Latin America has been the extreme fragility of its democratic institutions. This incurable weakness has even made itself felt in Chile and Uruguay—countries once celebrated as living proof of bourgeois democracy’s viability in peripheral capitalist societies. From a . . . read more
The Travail of Latin American Democracy
The shifting complexity of Latin American politics baffles the observer, frustrates the theoretician and challenges both the committed endurance and the tactical subtlety of the revolutionary. Continent of military coups and dictators—but also of (male) bourgeois democracies as old or even older than some West European or North . . . read more
Dependent Capitalist Development in Latin America
The theory of imperialist capitalism, as is well known, has so far attained its most significant treatment in Lenin’s works. This is not only because Lenin attempts to explain transformations of the capitalist economies that occurred during the last decade of the 19th century and the first decade . . . read more
The Anti-Imperialist Perspective
To what extent can the situation of the Latin American republics be likened to that of other semi-colonial nations? Their economic position is undoubtedly semi-colonial; and as native capitalism expands and imperialist penetration grows as a consequence, the semi-colonial characteristics of their economies will be clearly emphasized. The . . . read more
Feudalism and Capitalism in Latin America
Debate on the Left in the last decade over the origins and present nature of Latin American societies has focused on the problem of whether they should be seen as feudal or capitalist in character. A complex and lengthy discussion has taken place whose importance is not diminished . . . read more
Che communicated by actions; and his words were weapons in the struggle. In the Renaissance, there were ‘universal men’, who were great in art, science and literature. In the 20th century, politics—understood as man’s mastering of his own destiny in history—is the true form of universality. Che was . . . read more
Problems of Revolutionary Strategy in Latin America
These notes are designed to answer the following question: how has the Cuban Revolution modified the bloody class struggle which opposes the popular masses to imperialism and the national oligarchies in power in Latin America? What is the explanation for the slow tempo and apparent difficulties which revolutionary . . . read more
The Marxism of Regis Debray
As we go to press, Régis Debray is about to stand trial in Bolivia. The military authorities who claim to try him have announced him in advance ‘guilty’ of the fabricated charges against him. The story of his arrest, torture and imprisonment when on a journalistic mission to . . . read more
Introduction to Oscar Lewis
Over the last two years New Left Review has published a number of accounts—fictional and documentary—aiming to give the quality of life in an under-developed country: for instance Antonio Ferres’s story ‘Land of Olives’ (nlr 29) and Jan Myrdal’s description of life in a Chinese village (read more
Spain and the Americas
A remarkable Bengali writer has complained of a decline of historicity in the West, of the sense of man as part of history, during his lifetime. Dr J. H. Plumb, in a striking introduction to The Spanish Seaborne Empire, as editor of The History of Human Society series, . . . read more
Coordinated Counter-Revolution: Latin America’s New Phase
Many commentators, both Left and Right, have recently presented Latin America as a continent in revolutionary ferment, and some have fostered the belief that the key question in contemporary Latin politics is guerrilla warfare. But abundant evidence, exists to show that this is not the case. Rather than . . . read more
Latin America: The Long March
The following notes are the outcome of a long period spent in South America, side by side with revolutionary militants of every kind. I have attempted to understand these men and the beliefs which move them, on the spot—where I knew them: in Venezuela in the guerilla front . . . read more