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Latin American Politics
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Latin American Politics



August 2020 | 440 pages | CQ Press
While it is true that poverty, political instability, and economic under-performance continue to be major problems in Latin America, the region has made substantial progress in raising standards of living and overcoming military authoritarianism. Latin American Politics reflects just how much the region has changed in the last two decades. Eduardo Alemán draws on contemporary research in comparative studies on institutions, elections, and public opinion to highlight the big questions that political scientists seek to answer today: What are the causes of political instability? What factors have influenced changes in economic and gender inequality? What are the implications of different political institutions for political outcomes?  

 
List of Figures
 
List of Tables
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Part I – Background
 
Chapter 1: Colonial Legacy and the Post-Independence Period
Colonial Latin America

 
Independence and the Struggle for Political Order

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
 
Chapter 2: Political Regimes and Democratic Stability
What is Democracy?

 
Regime Transitions and Democratic Survival

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Chapter 3: Guerrillas and Revolutions
Guerrilla Movements in Latin America

 
The Cuban Revolution

 
The Nicaraguan Revolution

 
Failed Revolutions in El Salvador and Guatemala

 
Guerrillas and the Peace Process in Colombia

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Chapter 4: U.S.–Latin American Relations
The Cold War

 
The Aftermath of the Cold War

 
The Early 21st Century

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Part II – Institutions
 
Chapter 5: Latin American Presidentialism
Presidentialism and Its Critique

 
Constitutional Variations in Latin American Presidentialism

 
Differences between U.S. and Latin American Presidentialism

 
Presidential Instability

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Chapter 6: Legislatures in Latin America
The Legislative Branch

 
Organization

 
Legislative Voting Behavior

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
 
Chapter 7: Elections and Electoral Rules
Suffrage Extensions

 
Compulsory Voting

 
Rules for Electing Presidents

 
Rules for Electing Members of Congress

 
The Consequences of Congressional Electoral Rules

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Chapter 8: The Judiciary
Judicial Independence

 
Judicial Authority

 
Perceptions of the Judiciary

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
 
Part III – Political Attitudes, Policies, and Outcomes
 
Chapter 9: Political Culture
Support for Democracy

 
Confidence in Institutions and Interpersonal Trust

 
Ideological Positions

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Chapter 10: Corruption
Corruption

 
Efforts to Combat Corruption

 
Measuring Corruption

 
Corruption Scandals

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Chapter 11: Civil Liberties and Press Freedom
What Are Civil Liberties?

 
The Right to Life and Liberty

 
Free Expression, Peaceful Assembly, and Religious Freedom

 
Press Freedom

 
Property Rights

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Chapter 12: Income Inequality, Poverty, and the Gender Gap
Income Inequality

 
The Gender Gap

 
Conclusions

 
Key Terms

 
Bibliographic Recommendations

 
Web Resources

 
 
Glossary
 
Notes
 
Index

This book does an excellent job of striking a balance between covering breath of the region and providing in-depth examples from individual countries. Further it represents broad trends uncovered in political science research while using numerous examples to clearly illustrate the concepts and social science findings.

 

Tiffany D. Barnes
University of Kentucky
Review

Latin American Politics offers its readers a unique approach to an old topic. Through systematically analyzing the politics of the region and synthesizing it for its readers, this book is sure to offer something great.

T. Adam Golob
University of South Florida
Review
Key features

KEY FEATURES

  • Tables and Figures illustrate important aspects of data on Latin American views of democracy, authoritarianism, government institutions, and political behavior and attitudes, which the narrative sets into wider context.
  • Case Studies in each chapter illuminate aspects of political culture and provide a basis from which to understand the data discussed and how it relates to actions and events in Latin America.
  • Each chapter concludes with suggested readings, a list of keywords, and, where appropriate, web resources that students can access to expand their knowledge and use in their own research.
  • References throughout the book offer a useful bibliography of scholarly work on the main topics addressed in each chapter.
  • Glossary. All key terms are defined in a comprehensive glossary located at the end of the book.

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