Civil Society and the State in Left-led Latin America: Challenges and Limitations to Democratization

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9781780322049: Civil Society and the State in Left-led Latin America: Challenges and Limitations to Democratization

Timely and unique, this innovative volume provides a critical examination of the role of civil society and its relation to the state throughout left-led Latin American. Featuring a broad range of case studies from across the region - from the Bolivian constitution to participative budgeting in Brazil to the "communal councils" in Venezuela - the book examines to what extent these new initiatives are redefining state-civil society relations. Does the return of an active state in Latin America imply the incorporation of civil society representatives in decision-making processes? Is the new Left delivering on the promise of participatory democracy and a redefinition of citizenship, or are we witnessing a new democratic deficit?A wide-ranging analysis of a vital issue - both for Latin America and beyond.

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About the Author:

Barry Cannon is a Post-doctoral CARA fellow with the School of Law and Government, in Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). He is currently working on a research project on the Right in Latin America and is conducting his research from the Instituto de Iberoamérica at the University of Salamanca, Spain. His most recent book is Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution: Populism and Democracy in a Globalised Age (Manchester University Press, 2009). He has published journal articles in Third World Quarterly, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Democratization and Development and Practice.

Peadar Kirby is Professor of International Politics and Public Policy and Director of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge in Society (ISKS) at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He has published extensively on globalization and development, both in theoretical terms and in relation to Ireland and to Latin America. Recent single-authored books include Celtic Tiger in Collapse: Explaining the weaknesses of the Irish model (Palgrave, 2010), Vulnerability and Violence: The Impact of Globalisation (Pluto Press, 2006), and Introduction to Latin America: Twenty-First Century Challenges (Sage, 2003). He has published journal articles in New Political Economy, Review of International Political Economy, Economy & Society, The European Journal of Development Research, and Globalizations.


'The editors are to be congratulated for making an important contribution to the literature on the new left in Latin America. The collection brings together an impressive set of case studies in participatory democracy, popular protest and resistance politics, all framed nicely through the lens of state-civil society relations. All are good, but the section on extractivism is particularly novel.' Professor Jean B. Grugel, University of Sheffield 'Much more than a collection of essays, this is a coherent, informative, analytical and very readable exploration of Latin America's "left turn" and what it means for the region's states, civil societies and economies in the early decades of the twenty-first century.' Jenny Pearce, Professor of Latin American Politics, Director of International Centre for Participation Studies 'Cannon and Kirby's fine collection of essays fills a significant gap in the literature on new left governments in Latin America. The volume's systematic comparative analysis on changing state-civil society relationships in this new and evolving political context is a must read for all who follow Latin American politics.' Eduardo Silva, Tulane University 'Does the new left deliver the promise of participatory democracy, citizenship and inclusion? Or are we witnessing a new democratic deficit? Cannon and Kirby address this question through insightful studies of state-society relations and dynamics of policy-making in Latin America. This is a provocative contribution to Latin American studies with important implications for how we theorize democracy and democratization in an era of change.' Dr Pia Riggirozzi, University of Southampton 'This volume is crucial not only for understanding the political dynamics of current Latin America: it also calls attention to the potential democratizing impact that current civil society struggles might have in shaping the developmental agenda of the recently inaugurated post-neoliberal period. This is required reading for all of those who want to make sense of the significant political and economic changes that the region has experienced in recent decades.' Enrique Peruzzotti, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires

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