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Latin America’s Left Turns: beyond good and bad
Third World Quarterly (2009)
  • Maxwell A. Cameron, University of British Columbia
In rapid succession leftwing parties have been elected to government in some of the most important countries in the Latin American region. I challenge the view that there are two distinct variants of the left—one populist, the other social democratic—and argue that variation on the left reflects the diverse conditions under which these forces emerge and evolve. I outline common features shared by the left in Latin America; suggest how the concept of populism and analysis of social movements can help explain this variation; and show how the left’s commitment to egalitarianism, balancing markets, and, in some cases, appeals to the constituent power of the people enabled it to benefited from disillusionment with the results of neoliberalism, the poor performance of democratic governments in Latin America, and the evolving international context.
  • Latin America,
  • left,
  • parties,
  • populism,
  • social movements
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Citation Information
Maxwell A. Cameron. "Latin America’s Left Turns: beyond good and bad" Third World Quarterly Vol. 30 Iss. 2 (2009)
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