2009 Best Book, International Political Economy Group of the British International Studies Association
This ambitious volume chronicles and analyzes from a critical globalization perspective the social, economic, and political changes sweeping across Latin America from the 1970s through the present day. Sociologist William I. Robinson summarizes his theory of globalization and discusses how Latin America’s political economy has changed as the states integrate into the new global production and financial system, focusing specifically on the rise of nontraditional agricultural exports, the explosion of maquiladoras, transnational tourism, and the export of labor and the import of remittances. He follows with an overview of the clash among global capitalist forces, neoliberalism, and the new left in Latin America, looking closely at the challenges and dilemmas resistance movements face and their prospects for success.
Through three case studies—the struggles of the region's indigenous peoples, the immigrants rights movement in the United States, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela—Robinson documents and explains the causes of regional socio-political tensions, provides a theoretical framework for understanding the present turbulence, and suggests possible outcomes to the conflicts.
Based on years of fieldwork and empirical research, this study elucidates the tensions that globalization has created and shows why Latin America is a battleground for those seeking to shape the twenty-first century’s world order.
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