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  • Author: Ebru īlter Akarçay
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternative Politics
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: Early studies on presidentialism associated the design with political instability and weak democratic credentials, with deeply divided societies being particularly advised not to craft presidential regimes. Practices of presidentialism around the world later reframed the debate, as the focus shifted to variants of presidentialism. Presidentialism, in all its shades and colors, negates a monolithic set of political outcomes as evidenced by the constant experimentation in Latin America. This study scrutinizes how some reforms in Latin America served to pluralize presidentialism whereas other steps reinforced the opposite results. Lessons can be drawn from the two steps forward and one step back advance of presidentialism in the region. While the changing role of vice presidency, the impact of electoral system reform, and allowing for presidential exit through the intervention of the electorate diffuse power, the growing legislative powers of presidents and flexibilization of term limits dent pluralization.
  • Topic: Reform, Democracy, Political structure, Political stability
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: William Costa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cairo Review of Global Affairs
  • Institution: School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, American University in Cairo
  • Abstract: The preservation of indigenous peoples’ territories in Paraguay has a vital role in maintaining spiritual, cultural, and communal well­being. Despite this important reality, many indigenous communities’ bonds with their land have been shattered.
  • Topic: Democracy, Landpower, Land Rights, Indigenous, Land
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Paraguay
  • Author: Sebastian Edwards
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: dea has emerged in economic policy circles in the United States: “Modern Monetary Theory” (MMT). The central tenet of this view is that it is possible to use expansive monetary policy—money creation by the central bank (i.e., the Federal Reserve)—to finance large fiscal deficits, and create a “jobs guarantee” program that will ensure full employment and good jobs for everyone. This view is related to Abba Lerner’s (1943) “functional finance” idea, and has become very popular in progressive spheres. According to MMT supporters, this policy would not result in crowding out of private investment, nor would it generate a public debt crisis or inflation outbursts.
  • Topic: Debt, Monetary Policy, Populism, Banks, Economic Policy, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Marc F. Plattner
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: With the longstanding dominance of center-left and center-right parties ebbing across Europe and Latin America, there is a growing danger that substantial segments of the right will be captured by tendencies indifferent or even hostile to liberal democracy. The 2019 elections to the European Parliament will provide a key test. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has transformed the debate by openly promoting the concept of “illiberal democracy.” Orbán seeks to equate liberal democracy as such with a set of policy positions supported by forces on the left, thereby prying conservatives away from their fundamental commitment to liberal democracy. This rising challenge has manifested itself in a struggle for control of the European Union’s center-right bloc, the European People’s Party, as well as in the recent writings of several political theorists identified with the conservative side of the political spectrum.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Liberal Order, Conservatism, Illiberal Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary, Latin America, Central Europe
  • Author: Peter Sufrin
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: According to a recent State Department report, the United States is Brazil's second largest trading partner, and Brazil is the U.S.'s ninth largest trading partner. Not until the 1990s did the Brazilian government address trade liberalization, privatization, competition, and productivity as a way to increase commodities exports, and promote growth in imports of manufactured products. The possibility for further cooperation exists, particularly in the realm of Foreign Direct Investment, patent law, and a double taxation treaty, and with initiatives such as a U.S.-Brazil Commission on Economic and Trade Relations, a Defense Cooperation Dialogue, an Infrastructure Development Working Group, and an Economic and Financial Dialogue.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Alliance, Trade Liberalization, Free Trade, Exports
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America, United States of America
  • Author: Mônica Leite Lessa, Pablo Victor Fontes
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This paper examines Venezuela’s audio-visual sector and its cultural and media policies during the Chávez Era (1999-2013). Accordingly, this analysis essentially emphasises how Chávez’s perception of the absence of representation concerning Venezuelan popular culture served as the basis for proposing a remodelling of cultural and media policies. Bearing in mind this scenario, we point out that this initiative took place in order to rescue, promote and appreciate national distinctiveness and to stimulate the population’s inclusion and social development. In this sense, we indicate that the reconstitution of Venezuela’s social fabric took place through a new, important and original agenda of cultural and/or audio-visual goods. Also, we suggest that, to a certain extent, the same process took place in Latin America.
  • Topic: Globalization, Culture, Media, Domestic politics, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Pryanka Peñafiel Cevallos, Cécile Mouly
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: In light of the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of partial and impartial mediators, we examine how the Venezuelan government’s and the opposition’s perceptions of UNASUR and its good offices influenced its role as facilitator of dialogue between the two parties. We do so on the basis of interviews with key actors linked to the process, as well as a review of the literature and documentary sources. We find that, although there was a perception of lack of neutrality on the part of the mediators involved in the UNASUR effort to facilitate a dialogue in Venezuela, the parties themselves accepted the role of these mediators because they perceived that, through their means, they could achieve beneficial outcomes. Hence, we agree with various authors that the parties’ perception of a mediator is key. Nonetheless, we make a distinction between two types of perceptions that correspond to two types of legitimacy that a mediator can enjoy: ideological legitimacy and pragmatic legitimacy. We argue that the second type is essential and can explain the significant role that biased mediators play in various conflicts, such as that in Venezuela.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Ramon Blanco, Ana Carolina Teixeira Delgado
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This article examines a key element of the power relations underpinning international politics, namely coloniality. It delineates the coloniality of international politics, and elucidates the fundamental aspects of its operationalisation on the one hand, and its crystallisation into international politics on the other. The article is structured into three sections. First, it explores the meaning of coloniality, and outlines its fundamental characteristics. Next, it delineates a crucial operative element of coloniality, the idea of race, and the double movement through which coloniality is rendered operational – the colonisation of time and space. Finally, the article analyses two structuring problematisations that were fundamental to the crystallisation of coloniality in international politics – the work of Francisco de Vitoria, and the Valladolid Debate. It argues that the way in which these problematisations framed the relationship between the European Self and the ultimate Other of Western modernity – the indigenous peoples in the Americas – crystallised the pervasive role of coloniality in international politics.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Race, International Affairs, Colonialism, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Natália Maria Félix de Souza
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: The publication of the last of three parts of Contexto Internacional’s special issue ‘Gender in the Global South’ is the opportunity to both celebrate and lament the accomplishments of feminist scholarship in the so-called global South. Reflecting from the Brazilian experience and scenario, it is remarkable how much the women, gender and sexuality agenda has grown in the field of international relations: from a marginal perspective at the turn of the century (Nogueira and Messari 2005), it has now become a major locus of resistance and contestation, which can be attested to by looking at the power plays at the Brazilian international relations association’s annual meetings, the multiplication of feminist collectives inside public and private universities, not to mention the growing number of gender-sensitive research articles published by the main national journals – including this triple special issue. From where I look, there is no doubt that feminism has come to shake the conventions of the area and produce a much more plural and interesting picture of international relations – one which encompasses more voices, stories, subjectivities and narratives. From this standpoint, there is much to celebrate and hope for.
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, Socialism/Marxism, Realism, International Relations Theory, Feminism, Liberalism
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Andréa Gill, Thula Pires
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This article proposes a re-reading of the problem of gender, or as it has been put, more often than not, ‘the woman problem,’ that resists the reproduction of modern/colonial systems of governance and their political norms, standards, ideals and pacts. In turn, it seeks to open pathways to dialogue with, rather than import, conceptions of gender that respond to the terms through which modern/colonial societies have been forged on the continent of Abya Yala, drawing inspiration from decolonial and diasporic perspectives. To this end, the article maps some of the available channels of the gender debate in what has come to be known as the global South from an array of perspectives that highlight the ways in which the relations between categories of oppression and privilege (such as race, class, sexuality and gender) are reflected and positioned so as to grapple with the coloniality of knowledge, power and being. More specifically, it focuses on three ways of dealing with power dynamics in the context of Abya Yala that have influenced how we conceive and respond to questions of gender. Its primary objective is to investigate the politico-epistemic conditions that structure gender thinking in binary and intersectional ways, and, in turn, open space for imbricated approaches forged from within (post-)colonial histories that do not take as their starting point the importation of theoretical references from places otherwise situated within a global political economy of knowledge/power/being. More than a critique of theoretical standpoints from the global North, in and of themselves, which regardless were not thought to respond to our realities, here we analyse the terms through which gender and feminisms have been put up for debate. Without effectively decentring the Eurocentred references that preoccupy gender thinking in our respective disputes, we risk continued distraction from what is at stake when gender is put on the table: the (im)possibilities of living one’s full humanity on one’s own terms.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Political Theory, Diaspora, Women, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Enara Echart Muñoz, Maria del Carmen Villarreal
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: Since Cynthia Enloe asked, ‘Where are the women?’ in 1989, studies about the place of women in International Relations have increased. However, most of the analyses since then have focused on the participation of women in international organisations, events and institutional spaces, making invisible other practices and places occupied by black or indigenous women from the South. This article aims to highlight the role of women at the international level, analysing their performance in disputes over the meanings of development in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on struggles against extractivism. In addition to denouncing the impacts of this development model, these struggles seek to construct alternatives that, although they could be essentially local, have been multiplied and articulated throughout the Latin American and the Caribbean territory, as part of a broader resistance to the dominant extractivism in the region. These struggles will be mapped using a database of 259 conflicts around mining activities, developed by the Research Group on International Relations and Global South (GRISUL).
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Race, Natural Resources, Women, Global South, Indigenous
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean, Global Focus
  • Author: Felipe Jaramillo Ruiz, Juan Pablo Vallejo
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: This paper interrogates to what extent the gender component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Support Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reaffirms the post-political condition of climate change. By analysing the incorporation of gender in the NDC Support Programme and its articulation in Colombia’s Low-Carbon Development Strategy, the study exposes the strategic, epistemological, and normative risks of advancing feminist ideas within mainstream institutional frameworks. Thus, this paper shows the opportunities and challenges of dislocating the political and epistemological boundaries of climate change policies by promoting feminist ideas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Mariana Pimenta Oliveira Baccarini, Xaman Korai Minillo, Elia Elisa Cia Alves
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: What is the status of women in the discipline of International Relations (IR) in Brazil? This study provides a pioneering map of gender issues in Brazilian IR, focusing on inequality, discrimination and harassment. It includes a literature review as well as the findings of two sets of research: the first a survey of personal and professional issues faced by academic staff in Brazilian IR, and the second a report on the staffing of IR and related departments at private and public academic institutions in Brazil. Our research shows that despite the specificities of the Brazilian higher education system, Brazilian IR academics conform to international trends in respect of gender issues, facing monetary and/or familial inequalities and gender discrimination in their careers. It also shows that 25% of female academics have experienced undesired sexual contact at least once, and that there is a gap between male and female understandings of what constitutes sexual harassment.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Theory, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Carlos Gustavo Poggio Teixeira, Daniella da Silva Nogueira de Melo
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: In May 2018, Colombia was recognised as a NATO global partner, being the first Latin American country to formalize this relationship. The historical and political context of the South Atlantic differs from the reality of central and eastern Europe and the Middle East where the organization has mainly acted. In the last decades, NATO presence in the South Atlantic has received a little academic discussion. This is not due to lack of evidence, as the formation of partnerships with Colombia, Mauritania, joint military operations with Cape Verde, Ghana andother countries of the western African coast reveal the importance that the South Atlantic has acquired for the Alliance’s agenda and its members. This article intends to contribute to this gap in the literature.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Military Affairs, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America, South Atlantic
  • Author: Livia Peres Milani
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The US Foreign Policy turn to the Middle East during the 2000s and the coming to power of left-leaning governments in Latin America was widely interpreted as a US neglect of the region and the beginning of a post-hegemonic era in the Western Hemisphere. Hakim (2006)argued that the US was losing interest to the region and Riggigorozzi and Tussie (2012)claimed the US decompression opened space to Latin American regionalism. These ideas became common sense, but they were rarely demonstrated (LONG, 2016). The recent reversion of that scenario, with the coming to power of right-wing governments and the US pressure on the Bolivarian Venezuelan government, makes clear that more research on the post 9/11 US policies to South America is needed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Hegemony, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Kenneth F. Greene, Mariano Sanchez-Talanquer
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: On 1 July 2018, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) won a decisive victory in Mexico’s presidential election, while a coalition led by AMLO’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) claimed majorities in both houses of Congress. AMLO’s calls for change resonated with voters frustrated by chronic poverty and inequality, rising violence, and corruption, and his win has called into question the stability of Mexico’s party system. Yet AMLO, who strove to assemble a “big tent” coalition, is ultimately more a product of the system than a disruptive outsider. Moreover, clear programmatic differences among Mexico’s major parties persist, as do the institutional advantages they enjoy. It is thus most probable that MORENA’s ascent augurs a recomposition of the party system rather than a process of partisan dealignment.
  • Topic: Poverty, Elections, Democracy, Inequality, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The article compares Lula’s foreign policy to the Middle East with Ahmadinejad’s to Latin America. Methodologically, the historical concepts of each diplomacy is combined with empirical data on trade flows and diplomatic actions. It is argued that the implementation of foreign policies involved similar (presidential diplomacy) and distinct means (universalism and multilateralism by Brazil, and personalism, bilateralism and low institutionalization by Iran). The results of diplomacies also resembled: although the economic implications were modest, Brasilia politically increased its global projection capacity, while Tehran relatively reduced its international isolation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Marco Vinicio Mendez-Colo
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: External aggression is an analytic category used by Latin American States regardless the governmental ideology or their political affiliations. A comparative study conducted out between two Latin American Small States enables to understand the regularities in their behavior when facing such kind of threat, in terms of their role identity, objective and subjective interests and consistently their foreign policy actions at the domestic, bilateral, sub-regional and regional level. This article argued that the small states are more vulnerable to the external aggressions because of their lack of material resources and their need of external support, compromising their sovereignty and territorial integrity, and requiring the activation of multilateral mechanisms such as the Organization of American States and other regional and sub-regional institutions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Sovereignty, OAS, Agression
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Costa Rica, Ecuador
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Contents News from the Director .................................. 2 Spring 2018 Colloquium ............................ 2 Cuba in War and Peace ............................... 3 Spring 2018 prizes ....................................... 3 TURF-CreWS Papers....................................4 Fall 2018 Colloquium Preview ................ 4 Final Words.....................................................5 Note from the Davis Fellow........................... 6 News from the CENFAD Community ......... 7 Profile of Dr. Eileen Ryan ............................... 9 The U.S. Military’s 2018 National Defense Strategy .............................................................. 12 Book Reviews .................................................. 17 Doyle, Don. H., ed. American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s.... 17 McAdams, A. James. Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party ....................................... 20 Judith L. Van Buskirk, Standing in Their Own Light: African-American Patriots in the American Revolution ................... 22 Burnidge, Cara Lea. A Peaceful Conquest: Woodrow Wilson, Religion, and the New World Order. ..................... 24
  • Topic: Civil War, Communism, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Woodrow Wilson
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: José Oviedo Pérez
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: Latin America (LA) over the past century has experienced a period of relative interstate peace, free from the bloody wars typically seen in other global regions, such as Europe (CENTENO, 2002; MARES, 2001). The region, however, is also the most violent and unsafe in the world. Los Cabos, Mexico, the deadliest city in the world in 2017, boasts about 111.33 deaths per every 100,000 residents (SEGURIDAD, JUSTICIA Y PAZ, 2018: 3), making many of the region’s urban areas resemble combat zones. This paradoxically results in LA having what some scholars term a “violent” or “hybrid” peace (BATTAGLIO, 2012; MARES, 2001). This article discusses and analyses the historical trajectory that contributed to this development, specifically analyzing post-Cold War security doctrine in the region through a racial lens. Using historical process-tracing and a review of previous academic literature, we describe how the constitution of national identities, as well as state articulations of “citizenship” and “crime,” has resulted in a specific way of viewing and treating afro-descend-ent people across LA. This process has also contributed to the current security crisis across the hemisphere.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Race, Citizenship, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Emily E. Fox, Richard Aidoo, Marten Brienen, Carlos de la Torre, Alexander B. Makulilo, Joel Martinez
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: For the Journal’s 19th issue, we explore modern populism across the world. Richard Aidoo looks at the landscape of anti-Chinese populism in the context of Africa’s resource scramble, while Alexander B. Makulilo takes an in depth look at the siren song of populism in Tanzania. Marten Brienen and Carlos de la Torre hone in on populism in Latin America, exploring its early 21st Century evolution and its relationship with democracy respectively. Additionally, the Journal is proud to publish an interview with Ron Boquier and Raul Castillo, both of whom are active supporters of human rights in Venezuela, a county was a harbinger of recent global populist sentiment. Outgoing editor Joel Martinez speaks with Boquier and Castillo on the roles of the United Nations and United States in helping to advance democratic reform in the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, Politics, Natural Resources, Law, Democracy, Populism, Multilateralism, Capital Flows
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Latin America, Tanzania
  • Author: Marten Brienen
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: Latin America seems out of step with the world, as it appears to be currently emerging from a cycle of populist rule commonly referred to as the Pink Tide, which began with the inauguration of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez in 1999. While observers have been declaring the end of the Pink Tide for a few years now, the reality is that the movement is not quite dead yet: Nicolás Maduro remains in power, as does Evo Morales – who appears not quite ready to throw in the towel. While Rafael Correa has stepped aside in perfectly democratic fashion, his successor, Lenín Moreno, is very much a believer in what has been termed “twenty-first century socialism.” In this article, I will focus on the more outspoken of the members of the Pink Tide, and suggest that within the resurgence of the left in Latin America there is a distinct subset of populists who have married resource nationalism to populism to produce something altogether separate from the rest of the members of the Pink Tide.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Natural Resources, Populism
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Carlos de la Torre
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: The article first analyzes different interpretations of the relationships between populism, democracy, and authoritarianism during classical populism in the 1930s to 1970s, neoliberal populism of the 1990s, and left-wing radical populism of the late 1990s to present. The second section explores the internal contradictions of the logic of populism that combines the democratic precept of using elections as the only legitimate tool to get to power, with autocratic practices to undermine pluralism and to transform a leader into the embodiment of the will of the people. The last section draws lessons from Latin America to global debates on populism and democratization.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, History, Authoritarianism, Democracy, Populism
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Alexandre San Martim Portes
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: Democratization and regional integration are phenomena relatively new in South America. After decades of authoritarian regimes, new democratic orders and globalization brought the necessity of looking for partnership in the neighborhood. The Common Market of the South, or in the Spanish acronym Mercosur, was created in 1991, as an attempt to bring the countries in the region not only economically but also politically closer. Although initially a project lead by Brazil and Argentina, Mercosur has today threemore members: Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Bolivia is in the process of integration and Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana and Surinam are associate members (MERCOSUR, 2017).
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Common Market
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Uruguay, Latin America, Venezuela, Paraguay
  • Author: Henry E. Hale
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: A quarter century after the USSR’s breakup, the region it occupied has become more rather than less authoritarian on average. The rise has been neither steep nor steady, however, and the dominant regional pattern has been regime cycling, with movement both toward and away from authoritarianism at different points in time. Key causes are the tenacious pre-Soviet legacy of patronalism, the prevalence of presidentialist constitutions, and strong leadership popularity without the strong Western linkage and leverage that has often mitigated similar authoritarian tendencies in places like Africa and Latin America.
  • Topic: Power Politics, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Amado Cervo
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The last decade of the 20th century was characterized by two deep changes in Latin American countries. The old developmental paradigm, worn, gave place to the neoliberal paradigm, embraced by Latin American elites and societies. By reaching the 21st century, the region is going through a new paradigmatic change: the exhaustion, after a decade, of the neoliberal dynamics, and the immersion into the search for another destiny.
  • Topic: Development, Neoliberalism, Elites
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Laura Navarro
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey
  • Abstract: This article tries to contribute to one of the most relevant debates within the framework of current Gender Studies and feminist activism: the debate dealing with feminism and religions. The aim is to provide these reflexions with some theoretical elements that help us to better understand some of the complex issues of this field, such as the meaning of considering secular feminism as the only acceptable feminist model, and the possibilities of building one feminist movement that takes into account all the diversity of women's needs, wishes and oppressions. The author goes in depth these questions through the analysis of the "Islamic feminism", which takes an element as the religion (historically discarded by the European hegemonic feminism) as its starting point. Firstly, the article puts it in context by analysing "new feminist currents from the margins" that, in the eighties, started to question the ethnocentric and classist visions of an hegemonic feminism that concentrated their struggles on the concerns and interests of western, white, secular and middle class women, leaving aside the specific claims of other women's profiles. Afterwards, the article goes deep into the characteristics shared by the different Islamic feminist movements, its areas of work as well as its main purposes. Finally, it highlights some of the most important Muslim feminist thinkers and activists emerged in recent decades in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Religion, Discrimination, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Tom Ginsburg
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Latin America is something of a constitutional graveyard, in which formal texts have been replaced frequently over the past two centuries. Focusing especially on the period of relative political stability after 1978, Gabriel Negretto has produced a masterful book that helps us to understand constitutional politics in the region and beyond. Integrating quantitative analysis with a series of case studies, Negretto's innovative analysis makes this book required reading for students of constitutional design. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19344#sthash.T6DRR8OT.dpuf
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America
  • Author: Max Paul Friedman, Tom Long
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, scholars of international relations debated how to best characterize the rising tide of global opposition. The concept of “soft balancing” emerged as an influential, though contested, explanation of a new phenomenon in a unipolar world: states seeking to constrain the ability of the United States to deploy military force by using multinational organizations, international law, and coalition building. Soft balancing can also be observed in regional unipolar systems. Multinational archival research reveals how Argentina, Mexico, and other Latin American countries responded to expanding U.S. power and military assertiveness in the early twentieth century through coordinated diplomatic maneuvering that provides a strong example of soft balancing. Examination of this earlier case makes an empirical contribution to the emerging soft-balancing literature and suggests that soft balancing need not lead to hard balancing or open conflict.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Imperialism, Post Colonialism, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Françoise Montambeault, Graciela Ducatenzeiler
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Politics in Latin America
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: After two successive presidential terms, the leader of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) – the Workers' Party – Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, left office in 2011.1 After his first electoral victory in 2002, many observers of the Brazilian political arena expected a radical shift in the country's public policies towards the left. These expectations were rapidly toned down by the moderate nature of the policies and changes implemented under Lula's first government. Notwithstanding, Lula has succeeded in becoming one of the most popular presidents in Brazilian history and, by the end of his second term, about 90 percent of the population approved of his presidency. He attracted a large consensus among leftist forces in favor of market policies, which were accompanied by an important rise in the minimum wage and pension, as well as the expansion of social policies like his flagship program Bolsa Família. Some of his opponents grew to trust him as he tightened fiscal policy and repaid external debt. His government promoted growth through the adoption of economic measures that supported productive investments, including investorfriendly policies and partnerships between the public and private sectors. At the end of his second term, poverty and inequality had been significantly reduced, which had effects not only on wealth distribution, but also on growth by increasing domestic demand. Lula's Brazil also gained international recognition and approbation, becoming an emerging international actor and without a doubt a leader in Latin America.
  • Topic: Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Roberta S. Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The Western Hemisphere is a top priority for the United States because important national interests are at stake. Available metrics—including public opinion polls, levels of trade and investment, cultural and family ties, security cooperation, and shared democratic values—support the view that the United States remains an influential actor and vital partner in the region. The Obama administration's policy for the hemisphere seeks to forge equal partnerships with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. These partnerships build upon the promising destiny of this hemisphere, based first and foremost on shared values, as well as on geographic proximity, demographic connections, and common interests. These shared values and common interests, along with the region's increasing capabilities, also mean we can work collectively to address global challenges that require more than just national or regional action.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Mónica Serrano
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Mónica Serrano is Professor of International Relations at El Colegio de México, Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, Oxford University and a Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY. Between 2008 and 2011, as Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, she worked closely with the UN and other human rights organizations to build momentum behind an emerging international norm to prevent mass atrocities. Dr. Serrano has written extensively on international security, and on the international relations of Latin America, with particular reference to international institutions, security, human rights, transnational crime and civil-military relations.
  • Topic: Crime, Globalization, Law Enforcement, Financial Crimes, Violence, Interview, International Crime, Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Jose W. Fernandez
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: United States-Latin American relations have often suffered from a disconnect. While we stress security issues, the region's leaders speak of poverty reduction and trade. They resent being seen as afterthoughts to U.S. policies focused elsewhere. As a result, the region is sporadically open to new suitors, such as Spanish investors 15 years ago, or the Chinese today.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Charles Hale
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The field of Latin American studies has been a target for critics ever since it became a prominent feature of the U.S. academic landscape in the 1960s. Earlier critiques were quite severe, often permeated by the premise that studying Latin America from the North (and even the very concept of “Latin America” as an object of study) connoted the region's racial and cultural inferiority. This was further aggravated by the inability to fully disentangle Latin American research from U.S. economic and geopolitical interests. Even the most apparently benign scholarship was considered to be a reinforcement of North–South hierarchies of knowledge and power.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Indira Palacios-Valladares
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Millions of students have taken to the streets across Latin America in recent years in protests that reflect an unprecedentedly broad mobilization of popular opinion. Following massive demonstrations led by secondary school students in 2006 in Chile, university students launched a series of protests in May 2011. Powered by a coalition of public and private university students, the protests succeeded in shutting down most of the university system as well as major technical higher education institutions. Since their initiation, popular support for the students' demands—more affordable and equitable education, and better government regulation of fraudulent practices in the education industry—has run as high as 80 percent.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Carolina Ramirez
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The promise of upward mobility for Latin America's new middle classes has led to swelling university enrollment rates, but also to growing debt. In Colombia, high school graduates enrolling in higher education rose from 24.87 percent in 2002 to 45.02 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, in 2011, 23 percent of 25- to 34-year-old Mexicans had attained a university education, compared to only 12 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds.
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Carol Stax Brown
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The United States and Latin America are both struggling to find ways to improve participation in quality education in the face of a labor-market skills gap. But all too often, policymakers, businesses and educators have looked to elite universities as a way of meeting those gaps. While important for high-end jobs, labor market and social demands also require us to look elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Gabriel Sanchez Zinny
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The combination of sustained economic growth in Latin America, a region-wide expansion of the middle class, and a newly competitive business environment has boosted demand for quality education, and stoked desires for alternatives.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Juan Cristobal Bonnefoy
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Those following tech and continuing education news have been surprised by the rising popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The basic promise for professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean is quite alluring: free online access to a world-class knowledge base. But questions remain. Will this new learning methodology last, or fade quickly once the novelty is gone?
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Joan Caivano, Jane Marcus-Delgado
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The gender-based data on social inclusion clearly indicate the opportunities and obstacles facing women in Latin America—as well as numerous contradictions and complexities. An examination of new trends, laws and policies brings to mind the Spanish expression, “Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho.” In other words, even in many areas where there appears to have been significant progress, intervening barriers frequently preclude its consistent application.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Johanna Mendelson Forman, Anthony Spanakos, Roger-Mark De Souza
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Fresh, unique perspectives on recent books from across the hemisphere originally published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse by Ricardo Hausmann and Francisco R. Rodríguez Oil Sparks in the Amazon: Local Conflicts, Indigenous Populations, and Natural Resources by Patricia I. Vásquez Security in South America: The Role of States and Regional Organizations by Rodrigo Tavares
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Wilda Escarfuller
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The statistics are shocking. Latin America and the Caribbean have the countries with the number one (Dominican Republic) and number three (Venezuela) highest number of traffic deaths per capita in the world. Only Thailand comes close, with 38.1 traffic deaths in 2010 for every 100,000 citizens, placing it second in these grim rankings.
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America, Caribbean, Venezuela
  • Author: Susan Segal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For almost two decades, I have watched entrepreneurship explode across Latin America and the Caribbean, empowering citizens, transforming economies and changing lives. In sectors ranging from restaurants and small manufacturing to high tech, entrepreneurs are changing the economic and social landscape of the region. Perhaps most important, they are also generating jobs. Across the region, 60 percent of employees work for businesses with five or fewer employees. In Mexico, 72 percent of employment comes from micro-, small- and medium-size businesses. In Brazil, small enterprises create two out of every three jobs.
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, Mexico
  • Author: Richard E. Feinberg
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In the coming months, the United States is going to face a tough choice: either alter its policy toward Cuba or face the virtual collapse of its diplomacy in Latin America. The upcoming Summit of the Americas, the seventh meeting of democratically elected heads of state throughout the Americas, due to convene in April 2015 in Panama, will force the Barack Obama administration to choose between its instincts to reset Cuba policy to coincide more closely with hemispheric opinion and its fears of a domestic political backlash.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Cuba, Latin America, Panama
  • Author: Daniel H. Levine
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis aroused enthusiasm—and expectations—in Latin America. As the first pope of non-European origin in nearly 1,300 years, and the first ever from Latin America, he embodies both hopes and concerns for the future of the Catholic Church in this part of the world.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Timothy J. Power, Marcos Troyjo
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Fresh, unique perspectives on recent books from across the hemisphere originally published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Resilience of the Latin American Right Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Anna Carletti
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: Through an international reading of the first years of his pontificate, associated to the analysis of the global and regional context – emphasizing the Latin-American conjuncture – that preceded him, this research highlights the role that the Holy See can play in the current reordering moment, not only of the religious, but also of the political context. This study also seeks to build new conceptual categories that may be able to explain the notion of transnational religious actor and its role on the international arena, which is considered a secularized system.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Religion, Catholic Church, Secularism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Vatican city
  • Author: Severino Cabral
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The paper aims to analyze the relationship of the United States and Cuba considering the post-Cold War international environment, characterized by the rise of a multipolar order and Chinese influence, and the emergence of the Latin world and other relevant regional actors in a new era of global economy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Cuba, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Leonardo Granato, Rogerio Gesta Leal
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The study of anti-corruption policies is a relatively new phenomenon in Latin America. Having in mind that the Inter-American and the United Nations Conventions on the combating of corruption, of 1996 and 2003, respectively, establish the need to deepen intergovernmental cooperation in a complementary and convergent manner to national efforts in this regard, this paper proposes a study of the place that the fight against corruption has had on the Mercosur agenda in the period of 2003-2015, and of its expressions related to the institutionality of the bloc.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Michael S. Danielson, Todd A. Eisenstadt, Jennifer Yelle
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Politics in Latin America
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article argues that the low levels of descriptive representation of women in local political office in Mexico and Latin America is much more than a problem of the purported patriarchal cultures of indigenous and rural communities. We claim, based on a comprehensive survey of 466 municipal governments in the indigenous state of Oaxaca, that the underrepresentation of women is a function of institutions limiting female candidates. We test this "candidate supply" hypothesis, adapted from US-based studies, against the hypothesis that culture – as measured by indigenous ethnicity – has an independent effect on women's representation. We disconfirm that patriarchal, traditionalist cultures of indigenous communities cause underrepresentation in the election of women and instead find that a particular set of local institutions, which are more prevalent in indigenous municipalities, blocks the supply of potential women candidates. We conclude by considering the normative implications for women's representation in local politics in Mexico and Latin America.
  • Topic: Multiculturalism
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Cecilia Martínez-Gallardo
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Politics in Latin America
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article proposes a set of arguments about the strategic use of cabinet appointments by executives in presidential systems. Although recent work has greatly improved our understanding of government formation in presidential countries, most changes to presidential cabinets happen throughout the lifetime of a government and remain poorly understood. I argue that presidents use cabinet changes in response to unexpected shocks and to adjust their governments to changing political and policy circumstances. Weak presidents are more likely to use this strategic resource, which means that ministerial turnover should be higher when a president's formal authority is weak and he or she has low political support and popularity. To test these claims, I have assembled an original dataset that records individual cabinet changes in 12 Latin American countries between 1982 and 2012. The data provides strong support for the theory.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Mark Beeson, Richard Higgott
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Middle power theory is enjoying a modest renaissance. For all its possible limitations, middle power theory offers a potentially useful framework for thinking about the behavior of, and options open, to key states in the Asia-Pacific such as South Korea, Japan and Australia, states that are secondary rather than primary players. We argue that middle powers have the potential to successfully implement 'games of skill', especially at moments of international transition. Frequently, however, middle powers choose not to exercise their potential influence because of extant alliance commitments and the priority accorded to security questions. We sub-stantiate these claims through an examination of the Australian case. Australian policymakers have made much of the potential role middle powers might play, but they have frequently failed to develop an independent foreign policy position because of pre-existing alliance commitments. We suggest that if the 'middle power moment' is to amount to more than rhetoric, opportunities must be acted upon.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Gürol Baba, Taylan Özgür Kaya
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The 2007 Australian Parliamentary Elections brought a new dynamic to Australia's foreign policy: the Kevin Rudd factor. The Prime Minister sought to develop a more proactive and multi-faceted foreign policy around 'Creative Middle Power Diplomacy'. This study aims to cast light on the dynamism in Australia's Foreign Policy with Kevin Rudd within the framework of middle power activism. The research firstly focuses on the difficulties of defining and classifying middle powers through which it will put forward specific ' commonalities' for successful middle power foreign policy outcomes. The study of the EU–Australia Partnership Framework and the Asia-Pacific Community proposals–both of which were priorities for Kevin Rudd–reveal the potential and limits of middle power activism. This study argues that in today ' s world, middle powers have growing potential to pursue specific foreign policy goals but their ability to achieve these goals is constrained by Great Powers ' interests and consent, and also by the nature or ' commonalities' of middle power diplomatic practice.
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Christopher Wylde
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The post-crisis administration of Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) saw significant changes in the political economy of Argentina. After characterising these changes this article attempts to place the evidence within an appropriate meta-theoretical interpretation. The article concludes that while elements of historical forms of political economy exist in Néstor Kirchner's regime - elements of populism, elements of neoliberalism - in its entirety, one must look to other explanations not traditionally associated with Latin America, that is, the developmental regime. Such a conclusion facilitates both an enhanced understanding of post-crisis Argentine political economy, and an opportunity to further develop a developmental regime approach.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Davide Grassi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The return of democracy in Latin America has been associated with a decline in political violence, but also with a failure to redress welfare troubles or restore social justice. This essay provides an exploration of these problematic relationships. It argues that the impact of democracy on social welfare and internal civil violence is complex, develops unevenly and is mediated by a host of contributing factors. The bearing of democracy on political violence has been especially weak. In some countries democratic elites played a role in reducing or eliminating armed conflicts by offering a series of political concessions to the opposition, in particular communication channels with the government and social and political rewards. However, political violence survived or intensified under democracy elsewhere, while it was eradicated by force and (less frequently) by concessions in a number of authoritarian settings. Democracy has also affected welfare policies, through the appearance and progressive strengthening of social organisations and political parties that favoured channelling benefits towards the less advantaged. Yet, welfare protection also took place under populist and authoritarian governments, and it was influenced by a series of additional economic, political and social factors.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Michelle Bachelet
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Women's political and economic participation strengthens democracy, equality and the economy. And while women's empowerment and full participation in society are important goals in themselves, they are also vital for reducing poverty, achieving universal education, improving maternal and child health, and fulfilling other development goals. Increasing the presence of women in politics not only responds to their rights as citizens; it enriches political discourse, decision-making and inclusiveness, and improves social conditions through the passage of equitable laws and policies.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jonathan Weigel, Paul Farmer
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Haiti is currently battling the world's largest cholera epidemic in half a century. An integrated, comprehensive response—including case-finding and rapid treatment, water and sanitation efforts, and vaccination—could bring cholera to heel on Hispaniola and help prevent its spread elsewhere in the region.1 But the local and international response has, to date, fallen short. Tens of thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths were reported in May and June of this year.2 If the disease had appeared in the United States or elsewhere in the developed world, all available control tools would have been deployed. But the safe, effective and inexpensive cholera vaccine has only recently become available in Haiti. In April, the Haitian Ministry of Health and two healthcare nonprofits began delivering vaccines to about 91,000 people in rural and urban Haiti.
  • Topic: Development, Health
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Hugo Nopo
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Women's socioeconomic and political progress advanced dramatically across the globe in the last half of the twentieth century, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. Yet gender disparities remain high, and bridging those gaps has been a slow process. This is partly explained by negative stereotypes and misguided perceptions of gender roles—both still prevalent in Latin America. Such stereotypes not only distort many social interactions at home and in the workplace; they act as disincentives for girls to apply themselves in advanced study—particularly in mathematics. Just as significantly, they affect the overall labor supply. In both formal and informal labor markets, where Latin American families get 80 percent of their total income, gender gaps remain. Although the level of women's participation in the workforce has markedly increased over the past two decades across the region, three out of every five workers are male.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Magda Hinojosa
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Dilma Rousseff. Laura Chinchilla. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Michelle Bachelet. The political successes of these women should not divert our attention from the sizeable gender imbalance in politics that exists across the region. Slightly more than half of all Latin American citizens are female, but women occupy only one of every seven seats in legislatures—and only one of every 20 mayoral posts in the region. In fact, the existence of a presidenta appears to tell us little about how women fare politically in her country. Although Dilma Rouseff holds Brazil's highest office, only 8.8 percent of federal deputies in Brazil are women and only 14.3 percent of ministers are women. This is far behind the rest of the region. And despite Michelle Bachelet's success in Chile, women's representation in Chile's national legislature is below the regional average. [See Table 1] Women have made tremendous gains since the 1970s, when women's representation in Costa Rica's national assembly (at a mere 7 percent) was the highest in the region, and when five countries filled less than 1 percent of their legislative seats with women. The most striking changes in women's legislative representation have come since 2000—not coincidentally, after the majority of Latin American countries adopted gender quotas during the late 1990s.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Sital Kalantry
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For the first time in United States history, three of the nine justices sitting on the Supreme Court are women. About 33 percent of state and federal court judges in the U.S. are women, slightly higher than the global average of 27 percent. Why does this matter? Scores of empirical studies have attempted to determine whether the gender of a judge makes a difference to his or her decisions. But regardless of whether it does, equal representation for women in the judiciary strengthens the rule of law and should be a goal across the Americas. Increasingly, women in the region have overcome stiff challenges to becoming judges. Although the statistics for Latin American countries are slightly lower overall than in the U.S., they signal impressive progress. [See Table 1] For example, in 2010 18 percent of judges in Brazil's highest court were women, compared to 0 percent in 1998. In Peru, the figure was 23 percent in 2010 versus 6 percent in 1998.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Cedric Herring
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For many people, gender diversity is important because it removes barriers that have historically prevented women from taking their rightful places in the corridors of power. But there's also a specific business case to be made: including more women in the corporate setting will help meet customers' needs, enrich understanding of the pulse of the marketplace and improve the quality of products and services. The business case rests on what should be an obvious point: companies cannot effectively sell to women if they do not understand and value women, whether as customers or as employees. Therefore, increasing gender diversity in Latin American companies, especially in mass consumer-oriented sectors where women form large portions of the actual or potential customer base, will help boost their bottom line. In the United States, proponents of diversity commonly make the claim that diversity pays. The greater the diversity among employees, the broader their perspectives, resulting in an ability to marshal a wider array of intellectual and cultural resources to solve problems. Diversity also is a source of creative conflict that can lead to a re-examination of assumptions that would otherwise be dominated by male points of view. The putative competitive advantages—fresh ideas, positive outreach and communication with customers, more qualified workers— have persuaded many companies that diversity can produce greater profit.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Joan Caivano, Jane Marcus-Delgado
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Every day, women across Latin America are terminating their pregnancies under illegal and unsafe circumstances. The number of unsafe abortions—which represent about 95 percent of the total—grew from 3.9 million in 2003 to 4.2 million in 2008, with the annual abortion rate holding steady during that period, at about 32 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages 15 to 44. That's more than double the rate in Western Europe (12 per 1,000)—where abortion is generally permitted without exception. The high rate of unsafe abortions, which is defined by the World Health Organization as a termination of pregnancy performed by individuals without necessary skills, or under conditions that are below minimum medical standards (or both), underlines the dismal state of reproductive rights in the region. And it has had chilling consequences for poor and rural women in particular.
  • Topic: World Health Organization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Renata Avelar Giannini
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council has promoted a gender focus in peacekeeping operations, including the protection of civilians, since the adoption of Resolution 1325 (RES1325) in 2000. The logic is simple: involving women in peace negotiations and reconstruction efforts helps ensure a more equitable and stable society following conflict. Since December 2000, Latin American participation in peacekeeping operations has increased by nearly 1,000 percent.1 Of 7,140 military troops deployed in peacekeeping operations worldwide, female personnel participating in those missions total 238, or 3.3 percent. In the two missions with the most Latin American personnel, the region's female representation is higher than that of many other countries, but still lower than the target of 10 percent laid out in UN RES1325. For example, female personnel make up only 2 percent of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), but they make up 2.5 percent of all troops deployed from Latin America.2 Likewise, in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, overall female participation is 2.2 percent, but women make up 6.4 percent of Latin American personnel deployed.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Maria Garcia Andia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The strength and quality of democracy depend on how well judiciaries perform and function. In Latin America, after more than 20 years of judicial reforms, there have been some notable achievements. But there is a long way to go before judiciaries can adequately carry out their responsibilities to resolve conflicts, define and interpret rights and laws, and provide the framework for accessible, impartial systems of justice. The judicial reform movement that began in the 1980s—an effort that accompanied the rebuilding of democratic systems—sought to overhaul existing penal codes and procedures to respond to citizens' claims of human rights violations, and to pursue truth, justice and accountability for abuses committed during the dictatorships. Reforms were later expanded and deepened, while others did not take effect until the late 2000s.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Olivia Ruggles-Brise
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin America's travel and tourism industry took a hit during the 2008–2009 recession. International arrivals slowed and tourists had less money to spend. But over the longer term, tourism has been a success story—and forecasts suggest continued growth. That should surprise no one. Latin America's sheer diversity in scenic beauty, cuisine and cultures has combined with an increasingly sophisticated domestic industry to cater to every kind of traveler. Since 2006, tourism's direct contribution to GDP in Latin America has grown by 7 percent in real terms—more than double the world average—to reach an estimated $134 billion in 2011. This figure, which is projected to rise to $224 billion in 2022, includes revenue generated by tourism-oriented services such as hotels and airlines, as well as restaurant and leisure industries that cater to tourists. Forecasts for this year suggest tourism's direct contributions will grow by 6.5 percent, behind only Northeast and South Asia (6.7 percent).
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Maria de los Angeles Fernandez, Peter M. Siavelis
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Commentary on Chilean democracy has evolved from praise to concern since conservative President Sebastián Piñera moved into La Moneda Palace in 2010, bringing the Right to power for the first time in over 50 years. The praise was well-earned. Piñera's victory not only showed the Right's vote-getting ability; the peaceful alternation of power in Chile offered conclusive demonstration of one of the continent's most successful democratic transitions. Nevertheless, the Right's victory, which ended 20 years of government by the center-left Concertación, also coincided with a challenge to perceptions about Chile as a paragon of fiscal discipline and political stability. Contemporary Chile is convulsed by social mobilization, and by demands for redistribution and deep reforms to the economic and social model that was once heralded across the region.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: During the first decade of the twenty-first century, Latin America's increasing prosperity and social progress have led analysts to conclude that historic change is taking place. Indeed, poverty in Latin America fell from 41.4 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2010, even at a time of global distress1—a result, in part, of both sustained economic growth and reductions in inequality. As a result, the focus in policy circles has switched to the role an emerging middle class can play in the region, both as an engine of growth and as the foundation for social cohesion and better governance. The key to understanding this shift is accurately defining the middle class in economic terms.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Jamele Rigolini
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin America and the Caribbean is experiencing a dramatic surge of its middle class. In just a decade, the proportion of people in Latin America and the Caribbean with a daily per capita income (in purchasing power parity) between $10 and $50 a day went from around one-fifth to one-third. For the first time in history, there are as many people in the middle class as there are in moderate poverty (i.e., per capita earnings below $4 per day). This socioeconomic shift stems largely from the sustained rates of economic growth in the 2000s that in most—though not all— countries trickled down and generated higher incomes. But growth in the 2000s was not exclusive to Latin America and the Caribbean. While the industrialized world was facing a challenging decade, many emerging economies surfed past the global turbulences and continued to grow, lifting people out of poverty and feeding the ranks of their middle classes.
  • Topic: Poverty
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Maria-Eugenia Boza
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: There's been an amazing revolution in the global commercial landscape. The developing world has emerged as one of the most promising wholesale and retail markets. Many of these regions in the past were valued primarily as a source of cheap labor—often in maquilas and sweatshops. Today they are seen as a source of new consumers.
  • Political Geography: China, India, Latin America
  • Author: Alicia Barcena, Franciso Rivera-Batiz, Georges Haddad, Rebeca Grynspan
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Educational achievement has always marked and defined the middle class. Public policies that have led to mass access to education have led to a broad-based improvement in educational accomplishments, among them higher completion rates in secondary and tertiary education. This has led to more upward mobility in terms of earnings and types of occupation. Still, there has been an education depreciation effect. The higher the average years of schooling, the more demanding the labor market becomes in rewarding those educational achievements. Many non-manual jobs that require more schooling often see their rate of return to education deteriorate. As those non-manual jobs pay less for schooled employees, their workers fall below the income threshold characteristic of the middle class.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Alana Tummino
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Across Latin America, retailers, telecommunications companies and shopping malls are reaping the benefits of a growing middle class that is able to shop more and spend more. According to McKinsey Company, Latin America is one of the largest emerging markets in the world with a combined GDP of $3.2 trillion, boasting triple the GDP per capita of China and seven times that of India.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China, India, Latin America
  • Author: Luis Cubeddu, Camilo Tovar, Evridiki Tsounta
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Since 2003, mortgage credit in Latin America has expanded at an annual rate of 14 percent (adjusted for inflation)—well above rates observed in emerging Asia but below the exorbitant rates seen in emerging Europe before its housing bust. The region's credit expansion has been accompanied by burgeoning real estate prices and construction activity—now representing more than 6 percent of GDP, higher than in emerging Asia or Europe. Mortgage growth has been particularly strong in Brazil, where the five-fold increase in mortgage credit since 2007 has been accompanied by a near tripling of house prices in the main metropolitan areas.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Hal Weitzman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin America's political Left has displayed symptoms of bipolarity for much of the past decade. An early purveyor of this diagnosis was Jorge Castañeda, former Mexican foreign secretary (2001-2003), who in 2004 identified what he called "two Lefts" in a piece for Project Syndicate. One Left had "truly socialist and progressive roots" that was "following pragmatic, sensible and realistic paths." The other stemmed from "a populist, purely nationalist past" that had "proven much less responsive to modernizing influences."
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Anthony Bebbington
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The extraction of oil, natural gas and minerals is transforming Latin America. The conflicts that accompany this extraction have become part of the social and political landscape in much of the region. Some of this conflict has been violent. In June 2009, a confrontation between protestors and police in Bagua, Peru left at least 43 people dead, including 33 policemen. In September 2011, the Bolivian government cracked down on protestors who marched from Trinidad to La Paz in opposition to a highway designed to pass through the Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park-TIPNIS) that, among other things, would have facilitated hydrocarbon extraction. Mining Watch reports that since 2008, four activists have been murdered in Cabañas, El Salvador, where Canada's Pacific Rim Mining Corporation hopes to open a new gold mine; local organizations believe these deaths are linked to the mining project. In the Cajamarca region of Peru, site of the Yanacocha gold mine, many activists and protestors have been harassed and some killed for over a decade.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Rosemary Thorp, Jose Carlos Orihuela, Maritza Paredes
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: A country's ownership of rich natural resources is not necessarily a blessing. It presents a set of extraordinary challenges for policy makers. Bonanzas in foreign exchange all too easily create overvaluation and undermine efforts at economic diversification. At the socio-political level, mineral exploitation provokes intractable social conflicts, while the prospect of environmental contamination is ever-present.
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America
  • Author: Aurora Garcia Ballesteros, Beatriz Cristina Jiminez Blasco
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin America has historically played an important role in Spain's migratory cycles—both as a sender and as a recipient. Spanish political immigration to the hemisphere surged following the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and again after World War II, when Spaniards flocked to Latin America for economic reasons. The flow reversed with the late-1980s economic crises in Latin America. Between 1996 and 2010, Latin Americans in Spain—measured by those who obtained Spanish citizenship—grew nearly tenfold, from 263,190 to 2,459,089. Now Europe's economic crisis, which has acutely affected Spain, is causing the flows to shift again. According to data from Spain's National Institute of Statistics (INE), for the first time in this century, more people are now leaving Spain than moving to it. Net migration in 2011 was reported at negative 50,090 people, with 507,740 leaving Spain and 457,650 arriving.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, War
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Spain
  • Author: Leani García
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: There's no denying it; whether it's share of trade or percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the hemi sphere, the U.S.' economic presence has decreased. Even when the U.S. didn't slip a place in terms of a trade partner, its overall share of countries' imports or exports declined across the board, while other countries' increased—especially China's. In the same period, in Argentina and Brazil, the share of U.S. FDI declined by 22% and 27%, respectively.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Jorge Heine
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: On January 26 and 27, representatives from 61 nations, including 43 heads of state, gathered in Santiago, Chile for the 7th bi-regional summit of EU-LAC Heads of State and Government. It was one of the largest summits ever held in South America, and the first time that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), launched in 2010, participated as the EU's institutional counterpart.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Chile, Santiago
  • Author: Andy Baker
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: "Why do they hate us?” This question1, on so many U.S. citizens' minds over the decade following the September 11, 2001, attacks, is often asked about Islamic extremists and even the broader Muslim world. Among the most common responses is that “they” resent U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. When the focus shifts to Latin America, U.S. foreign policy similarly appears to be the principal reason for anti-Americanism. This seems to make sense. One would be hard-pressed to find another world region with greater and more long-standing grievances about Washington's actions. The Monroe Doctrine, Dollar Diplomacy and Cold War Containment were euphemisms for imperial abuses committed against Latin America over the course of two centuries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Latin America
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott, Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The hottest topic in world trade these days is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Hailed as a state-of-the-art free trade agreement (FTA), it will unite 11 countries—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam—with a combined GDP of almost $21 trillion (about 30 percent of world GDP) and $4.4 trillion in exports of goods and services, or about a fifth of total world exports. If you add Japan and South Korea—who are actively exploring entry later this year—TPP would cover 40 percent of world GDP and nearly a third of world exports.
  • Political Geography: United States, Malaysia, Canada, Latin America, Singapore, Peru, New Zealand, Brunei
  • Author: Alejandro M. Werner, Oya Celasun
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin America has bounced back economically in the past decade. Between 2002 and 2012, the region has seen strong and stable growth, low inflation and improved economic fundamentals. As a result, the weight of the region in global economic output increased from about 6 percent in the 1990s to 8 percent in 2012. With that has come a greater voice in the global economy.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Seth Colby
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In November 2009, the cover of The Economist showed the iconic Christ statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro blasting off into outer space. This image, along with the cover headline, "Brazil Takes Off," represented the Carnaval-like euphoria about Brazil that infected journalists and financial markets at the time, buoyed by the country's impressive economic performance in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Mariano Bertucci
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The study of what scholars focus on and debate helps to shape how policy is understood and discussed in the public realm and, sometimes, even made. However, a close look at the past three decades of scholarly publications on U.S.–Latin American relations, covering 174 peer-reviewed articles and 167 non-edited books, reveals a disconnect with many of the themes and realities in the region today.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Howard J. Wiarda, Flavio Dario Espinal, Pablo E. Guidatti, Cynthia J. Arnson
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Political and economic integration schemes have long been a staple of Latin American foreign policy. But changes in the regional and global economy since the early 2000s have created new incentives for the reform of global governance mechanisms to reflect the new constellations of political and economic power. South American countries benefited from soaring Chinese demand for commodities, energy and agricultural products, put their fiscal houses in order after years of painful adjustment, and implemented social programs that lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty and reduced inequality. The United States and Europe, meanwhile, remain mired in recession, leading prominent Latin American intellectuals to speak of historic power shifts from West to East.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: We created the Social Inclusion Index last year for the fifth anniversary issue of AQ to provide a more nuanced and multifaceted discussion of a topic that is very much on the agenda of policymakers, multilateral agencies and politicians.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Tanya K. Hernandez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Americas present many contrasting approaches to affirmative action. In the United States, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its constitutionality, while at the same time narrowing the ability to use race in the Fisher v. Texas case. In contrast, several Latin American countries are beginning to explore more dynamic affirmative action policies. While many of these policies are recent and still developing, the new Latin American interest in affirmative action programs indicates how useful such programs can be in pursuing racial justice. In fact, Latin America has in some ways gone much further in broadly embracing affirmative action as a human right-a key, perhaps, to the growing support for the concept.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany, Latin America
  • Author: Mari Hayman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While clean energy sources are gradually becoming more affordable, wind turbines and solar panels are still prohibitively expensive for much of the world's poor. To fill the demand for cheap, alternative energy, a number of do-it-yourself innovations that cost next to nothing have popped up across the globe. They require little technical expertise to use, and could provide a lifeline for low-income households. Take, for example, the "solar bottle bulb"—a plastic bottle filled with purified water and bleach that is used as a makeshift light bulb in the Philippines. Though the bulbs only work during daylight hours, they offer poor families a cheap, renewable energy source and generate as much light as a 55-watt bulb. Since 2011, the MyShelter Foundation has promoted the Isang Litrong Liwanag ("Liter of Light") project, which trains residents to make and install the bulbs themselves and aims to light 1 million homes by the end of 2015. SOCCKET, a soccer ball that stores kinetic energy while getting kicked around to power everything from cell phones and batteries to LED reading lamps, is another example of do-it-yourself energy. When the soccer ball is in motion, a pendulum mechanism inside generates energy that is stored in a lightweight lithium ion battery within the ball. After the game is over, electronic devices can be powered by plugging into a socket on the ball. According to SOCCKET co-creator Jessica Matthews, it's a fun and effective way to generate electricity. Thirty minutes of soccer can provide about three hours of LED light, and thousands of the balls, which retail for around $100, have been distributed to developing countries in Africa and Latin America through Matthew's for-profit social enterprise, Uncharted Play, which is planning a retail launch this fall...
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America
  • Author: Kent Allen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: E-Commerce: Easing Cross-Border E-Commerce BY KENT ALLEN The age of digital commerce is dawning in Latin America, with cross-border marketers looking to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil as opportunities to connect with online shoppers. Will the region capitalize on its e-commerce potential? The cross-border e-commerce math is simple. More online traffic means more sales opportunities, especially for digitally savvy brands from the U.S. and United Kingdom. The number of Latin Americans accessing the Internet jumped 12 percent last year, and mobile traffic is on the rise too. From July 2011 to July 2012, Flurry Analytics reports that four of the 10 fastest growing iOS and Android markets, as measured by the number of active devices, were in the Americas: Chile (279 percent); Brazil (220 percent); Argentina (217 percent); and Mexico (193 percent). Federico Torres, CEO of Traetelo, a cross-border marketplace solely focused on Latin America, explained why the region's future is digital at the June 2013 Chicago Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, the world's largest e-commerce conference. According to Traetelo, Chile (27 percent growth), Mexico (19 percent) and Brazil (19 percent) were among the five fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world last year. “Three-quarters of Latin America shoppers find the products they search for on U.S. e-commerce sites,” said Torres.
  • Topic: Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Latin America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Panorama Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination. In this issue: Mexico is Still Waiting for “Los Bitles” World Games, Cali American Sabor 10 Things to Do: Ponce, Puerto Rico Heart-Stopping U.S. Food Festivals From the Think Tanks.
  • Topic: Security, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Silvio Waisbord
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Media concentration remains a crucial challenge for democracy in Latin America. There are no media monopolies, strictly speaking, in the sense of a single corporation owning all media offerings, but media market concentration remains high. Legacy media properties, as well as the majority of advertising expenditures, are controlled by a small number of companies. Some television markets are "imperfect duopolies," such as in Mexico, where Grupo Televisa and TV Azteca reap the lion's share of ownership, advertising and audiences. In Colombia, CaracolTV and RCNTV attract over 60 percent of television advertising.
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Carlos Lauría, Sara Rafsky
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: During the past two decades, as transnational criminal networks have expanded their reach, violence and murder have plagued several Latin American countries. But even among those countries, Honduras stands apart. With an annual homicide rate of 85.5 murders per 100,000 inhabitants-an average of 598 a month, 20 a day, according to a 2012 study conducted by the Violence Observatory at the Honduran National Autonomous University— no place in the region is more violent.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: John Carey, Adriana La Rotta, Nancy Perez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Latin American Populism in the Twenty-First Century edited by Carlos de la Torre and Cynthia J. Arnson BY JOHN M. CAREY Legend has it that on his deathbed, Juan Domingo Perón, the former President of Argentina, uttered a curse condemning any would-be biographer to dedicate his or her career to defining populism. Or perhaps the curse was issued on the lost page of the late Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas' suicide note, or slipped in among the bills in an envelope passed surreptitiously by Alberto Fujimori to some Peruvian legislator, or whispered by the recently deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez into the ear of his successor, Nicolás Maduro. No matter. Whoever first uttered the curse, it worked: political scientists studying the region have wrestled and been obsessed with the concept for decades. We want to write about populism. Indeed, we need to write about it, because populism is among the most important and persistent phenomena in modern Latin American politics. But because the populist label has been applied to such a broad array of phenomena, we are condemned to define it before we can embark on any serious analysis. Academic exactitude being what it is, this leads first to extended consideration of what others have held populism to be, followed by a self-perpetuating and seemingly inescapable cycle of judgment, distinction and justification.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina, Colombia, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Ellis J. Juan
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For too long, Latin America's urbanization has been haphazard and chaotic. As a result, the world's most urbanized region (with over 80 percent of its population living in cities) became associated with sprawl, waste, inefficiency, pollution, and increasing vulnerability to climate change.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Dr. Nancy E. Brune
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Discussions of sustainable cities tend to focus on environmental goals such as developing eco-friendly architecture, recycling, and improving the resiliency of urban infrastructure systems. But public or citizen security is an equally important aspect of building a sustainable city. Often, it is the issue that tops the list of citizens' concerns—and with good reason.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Duncan Wood, Marc Frank, John Parisella
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Cuba: Port Upgrades and Free-Trade Zones BY MARC FRANK When Latin American and Caribbean heads of state gather in Cuba in January 2014 for the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States— CELAC) summit, the agenda will include a side trip to Mariel Bay. There, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Cuban President Raúl Castro will cut the ribbon on a brand new container terminal that Cuba hopes will replace Havana as the country's principal port. Brazil financed more than two-thirds of the $900 million project, built in partnership with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht over six years—providing $670 million in loans for terminal construction and infrastructure development such as rail and road. The facility, with an initial capacity of 850,000 to 1 million containers, will be operated by Singaporean port operator PSA International. The Mariel Bay facility, located 28 miles (45 kilometers) west of the capital on the northern coast, was built to attract traffic from the larger container ships expected to traverse the Panama Canal in 2015. It could also serve as a major transfer point for cargo heading to other destinations. But the competition is already fierce. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Panama are all rushing to improve their port facilities.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Cementos Progreso S.A.
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Guatemala ratified International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169) on June 5, 1996, more than a year after Guatemala's Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, ruled in Document 199-95 that the Convention did not contradict the Guatemalan Constitution.
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Guatemala
  • Author: Jose W. Fernandez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: United States-Latin American relations have often suffered from a disconnect. While we stress security issues, the region's leaders speak of poverty reduction and trade. They resent being seen as afterthoughts to U.S. policies focused elsewhere. As a result, the region is sporadically open to new suitors, such as Spanish investors 15 years ago, or the Chinese today. Despite their frustration with Washington, Latin American leaders recognize that, as the hemisphere's largest economy and market, the U.S. remains the indispensable partner. The challenge, both for the U.S. and Latin America, is to agree on common economic priorities both sides can pursue jointly, rather than continuing parallel dialogues. Economic growth, poverty reduction and job creation are common elements on both sides' wish lists. Politically, the stars are more aligned than ever in recent history for a renewed emphasis on economics in our relations with Latin America. The administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has made clear that its priority will be economic reform at home and more integrated North American markets and supply chains. From the beginning of his term, the Mexican president called for elevating our economic diplomacy to the same levels as our security relationship, which led to the first High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) between Mexico and the U.S. in late September.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Sonia Meza-Cuadra, Katya Salazar, César Rodríguez-Garavito, Roberto Jungito Pombo
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: What have been the benefits of countries adopting consulta previa? Sonia Meza-Cuadra answers: Governments aim to make decisions that will improve the economic and social development and welfare of their citizens. But historically, decisions affecting Indigenous and tribal people's culture, ancestral lands and habitats have too often been made without their participation. ilo 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples seek to redress this situation. The processes of free, informed prior consent, or consulta previa, have faced several challenges, most of which are rooted in the historical mistrust between governments and Indigenous peoples. Rebuilding this trust and reaching a consensus is complicated by the long absence of the state and, consequently, minimal public services in remote areas where most Indigenous people live. Progress in the implementation of ilo 169 has already benefited countries. First, the convention has improved awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples' rights among the general population and the Indigenous community itself. Second, the laws, regulations and court decisions that have followed have laid the groundwork for more responsible and socially, economically and environmentally sustainable public and private investment. Third, in seeking to meet their commitments under the convention, governments and public officials have improved their capacity to seek popular consultation and consensus. Fourth, already the dialogues that have been established among governments, companies and communities have improved discussions among these stakeholders and lowered the long-term legal risks of these investments.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Charles Hale
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The field of Latin American studies has been a target for critics ever since it became a prominent feature of the U.S. academic landscape in the 1960s. Earlier critiques were quite severe, often permeated by the premise that studying Latin America from the North (and even the very concept of "Latin America" as an object of study) connoted the region's racial and cultural inferiority. This was further aggravated by the inability to fully disentangle Latin American research from U.S. economic and geopolitical interests. Even the most apparently benign scholarship was considered to be a reinforcement of North-South hierarchies of knowledge and power.
  • Political Geography: Latin America
100. Protest U.
  • Author: Indira Palacios-Valladares
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Millions of students have taken to the streets across Latin America in recent years in protests that reflect an unprecedentedly broad mobilization of popular opinion.
  • Political Geography: Latin America