This ambitious book offers a clear and unified framework for understanding political change across Latin America. The impact of U.S. hegemony and the global economic system on the region is widely known, and scholars and advocates alike point to Latin America’s vulnerability in the face of external forces. In spite of such foreign pressure, however, individual countries continue to chart their own courses, displaying considerable variation in political and economic life.
Looking broadly across the Western Hemisphere, with examples from Brazil, the Southern Cone, the Andes, and Central America, Arceneaux and Pion-Berlin identify general rules that explain how international and domestic politics interact in specific contexts. The detailed, accessible case studies cast new light on such central problems as neoliberal economic reform, democratization, human rights, regional security, environmental degradation, drug trafficking, and immigration. And they consider not only what actors, institutions, and ideas matter in particular political contexts, but when, where, and how they matter. By dividing issues into the domains of “high” and “low” politics, and differentiating between short-term problems and more permanent concerns, they create an innovative typology for analyzing a wide variety of political events and trends.
By investigating an impressive variety of policy issues, this interesting volume sheds new light on the impact of international influences on Latin American development and on the interplay of interests, ideas, and institutions. The analyses of market reform, democratization, regional security, and human rights are well-researched, thorough, and insightful.
Faithfully addresses the main issues concerning political transformations within this region and incorporating both domestic and international factors . . . an excellent tour de force on this vital and dynamically changing region.
This book provides a consistent perspective that makes it possible to understand why international actors vary in their efforts to influence domestic policy and politics, and when their capacity to exert influence is likely to be stronger or weaker. " "Above all, Arceneaux and Pion-Berlin have set out a noble objective for this study—to provide a way for international relations specialists and comparativists to come to greater consensus on how to weigh the relative power of external and domestic actors in political and policy decision-making.
Transforming Latin America offers a compelling, fresh and elegant argument for the conditions that explain when international factors determine change and when domestic factors become more relevant.