Business has long been considered an enemy of democracy and a supporter of authoritarianism in Latin America. In this unusually well coordinated volume, the authors explore the new relationship between business and democracy during the contemporary period.
These essays provide the first published research on Latin America’s business sectors after recent political transformations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru. They reveal the widely varied political and economic roles of business interests, particularly in regard to military regimes and the retreat of authoritarianism.
The contributors to Business and Democracy in Latin America look systematically at the same issues in Chile (Bartell), Bolivia (Catherine Conaghan), Peru (Francisco Durand), Mexico (Blanca Heredia), and Brazil (Payne). They address the subject of business associations and their relationships with authoritarian and democratic regimes, with each essay offering an interesting story as well as good analysis. It is a relief to find real people doing real things-instead of abstract 'actors' defending their abstract 'interests.'
Given the nature of politics in several of these countries, the 'democracy' in the title is somewhat overstated, but the need to look at the role of business is not. . . . In Latin America today, business is the political equivalent of a 500-pound gorilla. . . . For students and scholars with an interest in the prospects for deepening democracy in the region, this book is a compelling of that fact.