In brief: Right-wing Politics

Right-wing Politics in the New Latin America: Reaction and Revolt
Edited by Francisco Domínguez, Geraldine Lievesley and Steve Ludlam
2011, Zed Books
270 pages

THIS contribution by Zed to political literature on Latin America represents the power of insight at its very best, reminding as it does about the breadth and continuing potency of rightwing forces in the region after years in which the Left has gained the upper hand, but also demonstrating that this publishing house is punching above its weight in this area and able to lure some of the heavyweights from the field into its stable. Domínguez, Lievesley and Ludlam are just that: at the cutting edge of political scholarship on Latin America and the Caribbean, making this collection of essays essential reading for students of comparative politics. Understand the right in this complex and oft-troubled region, and you are well placed to understand politics per se. The 15 contributions paint a picture of a diverse and shifting reactionary landscape that is never dormant and always capable of shaking the institutional bedrock. As the editors remind us, the right is still in possession of colossal resources – and the most widespread concern about the future of right-wing politics in Latin America is the fear of a return to unconstitutional methods. In the 21st century, only the capacity of left-wing political leaders at all levels to sustain their programmes in the face of the right’s resources will determine whether the great majroity of people continue to have their lives blighted by poverty and exclusion. – GO’T