The research behind Latin America´s Leaders (ZED Books, London, 2015) was motivated by questions related to the democratic quality of leaders. Why do democratically elected leaders undermine democracy as soon as they are in power? Why has the return to democracy not done away with Latin America’s tendency to generate authoritarian leaders?
Last week’s Sunday New York Times highlighted four Latin American countries in separate mind-numbing stories. In Bolivia, a large lake had dried up due to environmental mismanagement and climate change. In Colombia, the peace process is advancing, but challenges remain with regards to the reintegration of combatants. In Venezuela, the economic crisis is such that beans cost 10% of the monthly salary and a cup of coffee costs $300 with black-market pricing.
The term “development” is highly contested and means very different things to different people. Despite the ambiguity surrounding the concept, scholars of development have identified patterns in the way people imagine, talk about, and pursue development goals. Among the most common definitions of development in use today are those associated with a perspective known as “neoliberalism”, which asserts that human well-being can best be advanced by the promotion of strong private property right
In the world of global public health, there is considerable tension over what kind of diseases should take priority in the allotment of scarce resources. Roughly speaking, the main division is infectious versus noncommunicable diseases, and there exists further debate within each of these categories. A perfect example is the evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling (or bungling) of the west African Ebola epidemic of 2014. Many critics laid blame for the WHO’s slow and uncoor
Since the turn of the 21st century, China has become an increasingly important actor in Latin America, especially economically.
Neoliberalism has been defined as crucial to the reformulation of state-society relations in the postcorporatist period because it has undermined the national-populist or –as Cavarozzi and Garretón (1989) called it– “state-centered matrix”, through the weakening, and sometimes destruction, of existing corporatist arrangements (Oxhorn, 1998).
Do political parties have been invested by a process of “presidentialization”?
The presidentialization of politics is a relatively new and important phenomenon. However, the term presidentialization has become highly debatable. In particular, the more contentious side is offered by the suggestion that presidentialization of politics could make (semi) presidential regimes and parliamentary ones more similar to presidentialism.
Under what conditions do voters in Latin America’s democracies punish corrupt politicians? As many of the region’s countries approach or pass their third decade of continuous democratic government, attention has turned from questions of democratic longevity in the region to the quality of democracy that citizens experience. And in Latin America, as in many parts of the world, citizens and policy makers are increasingly preoccupied with political corruption.