Neoliberalism, Interrupted: Social Change and Contested Governance in Contemporary Latin America

Neoliberalism, Interrupted: Social Change and Contested Governance in Contemporary Latin America

Neoliberalism, Interrupted: Social Change and Contested Governance in Contemporary Latin America

Neoliberalism, Interrupted: Social Change and Contested Governance in Contemporary Latin America

Synopsis

In the 1980s and 1990s, neoliberal forms of governance largely dominated Latin American political and social life. Neoliberalism, Interrupted examines the recent and diverse proliferation of responses to neoliberalism's hegemony. In so doing, this vanguard collection of case studies undermines the conventional dichotomies used to understand transformation in this region, such as neoliberalism vs. socialism, right vs. left, indigenous vs. mestizo, and national vs. transnational.

Deploying both ethnographic research and more synthetic reflections on meaning, consequence, and possibility, the essays focus on the ways in which a range of unresolved contradictions interconnect various projects for change and resistance to change in Latin America. Useful to students and scholars across disciplines, this groundbreaking volume reorients how sociopolitical change has been understood and practiced in Latin America. It also carries important lessons for other parts of the world with similar histories and structural conditions.

Excerpt

Mark Goodale and Nancy Postero

This volume examines the ways in which Latin America, during the last decade, has become a global laboratory. There, new forms of governance, economic structuring, and social mobilization are responding to and at times challenging the continuing hegemony of what the anthropologist James Ferguson (2006) describes as the “neoliberal world order.” Yet despite the fact that political leaders in countries like Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela articulate these responses in the language of revolution, these most radical of regional experiments remain outliers, the exceptions that prove the general rule that the global consolidation of late capitalism through neoliberalism has been merely, if revealingly, interrupted in Latin America. Nevertheless, we argue that these interruptions have important consequences and reveal new horizons of possibility—social, political, economic, theoretical—within a broader, post—Cold War world in which many of the traditional alternatives . . .

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