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Latin America's Shift to the Left
 

Latin America's Shift to the Left

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This is a slideshow I'm presenting to my class to go along with my lecture kicking off a 5-week series on Latin America's recent "shift to the left".

This is a slideshow I'm presenting to my class to go along with my lecture kicking off a 5-week series on Latin America's recent "shift to the left".

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    Latin America's Shift to the Left Latin America's Shift to the Left Presentation Transcript

      • EXPLAINING THE REGION’S RECENT ELECTIONS
      Latin America’s Shift to the Left
    • José Machado ( Cuba VP) Manuel Zelaya ( Honduras ) Hugo Chávez ( Venezuela ) Evo Morales ( Bolivia ) Daniel Ortega ( Nicaragua )
    • 1998 •1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009
    • Venezuela: Hugo Chávez
      • December 1998
    • Brazil: Luiz Inácio (“Lula”) da Silva
      • October 2002
      • A factory worker with a 4 th grade education, Lula rose through union ranks to lead the Workers’ Party (PT).
      • He ran unsuccessfully in 1998, won a decisive victory (63%) in 2002, and was reelected in 2006. Lula has sought to continue Brazil’s economic growth while reducing the country’s high inequality.
      • Under Lula, Brazil has become a major regional (and potential world) power.
    • Bolivia: Evo Morales
      • December 2005
      • Leader of Bolivia’s cocaleros (coca farmers) and outspoken critic of “neocolonialism.”
      • Won a decisive majority (54%) to become the country’s first indigenous president.
      • A close ally of Hugo Chávez, Morales has nationalized industries (oil, gas, mining) and pushed through a new constitution.
      • Up for reelection December 2009.
    • Chile: Michelle Bachelet
      • January 2006
      • Served as minister of Health (2000-2002) and Defense (2002-2006) during the Ricardo Lagos government (2000-2006).
      • Won a second-round election (53%) on a center-left platform that promised to continue liberal economic policies, but with greater emphasis on reducing inequality.
    • Nicaragua: Daniel Ortega
      • November 2006
      • Leader of the Sandinista government (1985-1990) and hero of the 1979 Revolution.
      • Publicly “converted” and reconciled with the Catholic Church, as part of a move to the center. Narrowly (38-28-27) beat two candidates of the right.
      • Ortega is an ally of Hugo Chávez, who provides Nicaragua with significant economic aid.
    • Argentina: Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
      • October 2007
      • Succeeded her husband (Néstor Kirchner), who remained in control of the Peronist party.
      • She won a decisive victory (45-22-12) on a platform critical of the IMF and promising to return Argentina to better times. Her campaign frequently alluded to the 2001 economic crisis.
      • The Kirchners are strong allies of Hugo Chávez, and frequently speak out against the US.
      • Populists
      • Social Democrats
      • Address economic inequality through radical economic redistribution
      • If existing institutional frameworks block social change, abolish or sidestep institutional guarantees
      • Constant, polarizing campaigns to mobilize political support for policies or to intimidate opponents (frequent use of “bully pulpit”)
      • Address economic inequality by expanding social safety nets, but without upsetting market economy
      • Work through existing institutional frameworks, even if this means changes are slow
      • Social, economic issues treated as technical matters and handled through bureaucratic institutions (distinction between “politics” and “governance”)
      TWO KINDS OF LEFTS
    • Social Democracy
      • A political ideology that incorporates elements of both socialism and capitalism. This is usually done through comprehensive welfare programs and/or through significant state regulation designed to “check” the tendency of capitalism to produce social inequalities.
      • At right, logos of various social democratic parties in Europe.