Governing Latin America is a concise yet comprehensive introduction to the contemporary politics of the region. Focusing on the enduring difficulties of achieving democratic stability, it explores the conduct of government through classic concepts like authority, accountability, and participation. These themes are developed within a consistently comparative perspective.
This is an introductory text with a difference. Unlike many textbooks, it is organized by topic rather than country, and describes Latin America in an accessible language familiar to all students of politics. It addresses interests, identities, and actors, but remains distinctive in its attention to legal frameworks, political institutions, and the organization of government itself. The governments of Latin America today are mostly democratic, but democratic advance comes accompanied by persistent problems of oligarchic power, political corruption, legal impunity, and social exclusion. The authors show how the quality of the region's democratic governments depends on their variable success in responding to these challenges.
Governing Latin America draws on the political diversity of the region's twenty-one republics to discover their general characteristics. These characteristics are rooted in regional history and culture, but powerfully influenced by global economy and international actors. Regional traditions and global realities are combined into an original synthesis that will appeal to students and teachers of both Latin American and comparative politics.show more