The Impasse of the Latin American Left

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by Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, and Jeffery R. Webber

Duke University Press

05/27/2022, paperback

SKU: 9781478018216


In The Impasse of the Latin American Left, Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, and Jeffery R. Webber explore the region's Pink Tide as a political, economic, and cultural phenomenon. At the turn of the twenty-first century, Latin American politics experienced an upsurge in progressive movements, as popular uprisings for land and autonomy led to the election of left and center-left governments across Latin America. These progressive parties institutionalized social movements and established forms of state capitalism that sought to redistribute resources and challenge neoliberalism. Yet, as the authors demonstrate, these governments failed to transform the underlying class structures of their societies or challenge the imperial strategies of the United States and China. Now, as the Pink Tide has largely receded, the authors offer a portrait of this watershed period in Latin American history in order to evaluate the successes and failures of the left and to offer a clear-eyed account of the conditions that allowed for a right-wing resurgence.


"In this important new book, Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, and Jeffery R. Webber provide a timely and incisive analysis of the left's waning fortunes in Latin America over the past two decades. The limits of what they call progressivism in this convulsed region offer great lessons for popular struggles and left politics around the world. The study could not be more timely given the devastating impact that the crisis of global capitalism and the coronavirus pandemic have had on Latin America. A must-read for students of Latin America and for all those concerned with advancing genuinely transformative projects in the twenty-first century." -- William I. Robinson, author of Global Civil War: Capitalism Post-Pandemic

About the Authors:

Franck Gaudichaud is Professor of History and Latin American Studies at Universite Toulouse-Jean Jaurès.

Massimo Modonesi is Professor of Sociology at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Jeffery R. Webber is Associate Professor of Politics at York University.