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The Triumph of Politics: the return of the left in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador

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George Philip and Francisco Panizza
Polity Press (September 2011)

The Triumph of Politics offers a comparative and historical interpretation of Venezuela's Chavez, Bolivia's Morales and Ecuador's Correa - South America's most prominent ‘21st century socialists'. It argues that the claims of these 21st century socialists should be taken seriously even though not necessarily at face value.

The authors show how the consensual market oriented policymaking that characterized almost all of South America in the 1990s has now given way to something quite different. Polarization and intense political conflict have returned to much of the region. Although the Left has not always been the beneficiary of this changed pattern, the ‘21st century' governments of Chavez, Morales and Correa have been agenda setters. The questions raised by their emergence, style of governance and policy orientations resonate across Latin America and beyond. It is likely that the kind of politics with which they have been associated will be influential in the region for quite some time to come.

  • George Philip is a professor in Latin American politics at LSE
  • Francisco Panizza is a reader in Latin American politics at LSE

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'This book carefully dissects the politics and policies of the three most prominent radical regimes in Latin America. It is informative, perceptive and balanced and makes a major contribution to the debate on the nature of the Left in Latin America.'
Alan Angell, St Antony's College, Oxford

'George Philip and Francisco Panizza are to be congratulated on writing this timely and much needed analysis of contemporary Latin American politics. With their focus on the '21st century socialism' of Chavez, Morales and Correa, the authors locate the return of populism, economic nationalism and anti-imperialism within the history of the region and within a comparative overview of the 'Pink Tide' of left-of-centre governments of recent decades. This book will be essential reading for all those interested in radical democratic politics.'
Maxine Molyneux, Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London 

The Triumph of Politics