Venezuela: Hugo Chávez and the Decline of an "exceptional Democracy"

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Steve Ellner, Miguel Tinker Salas
Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 - 220 ˹
This authoritative book offers a comprehensive assessment of contemporary Venezuela. Analyzing the multifaceted phenomenon of Hugo Chávez, leading scholars move beyond his flamboyant style to focus on the concerns of popular social and political movements. The book challenges the misleading notions that for several decades glorified Venezuelan "exceptionalism" and minimized the role of important actors. After setting the historical and socio-economic contexts, the contributors explore racial issues, social and labor movements, electoral politics, economic and oil policy, and United States support for the Venezuelan opposition. Underscoring the complexity of Chávez and his popularity, the book highlights the need to avoid simplistic assessments of the past and present and offers a clear-eyed understanding of Venezuelan reality today. Contributions by: Christopher I. Clement, Steve Ellner, Maria Pilar García Guadilla, Daniel Hellinger, Jesús María Herrera Salas, Edgardo Lander, Dick Parker, Miguel Tinker Salas, and Cristóbal Valencia Ramírez
 

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THEORETICAL HISTORICAL AND INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUND
1
The Venezuelan Exceptionalism Thesis Separating Myth from Reality
3
Venezuelan Social Conflict in a Global Context
16
OIL AND ECONOMIC POLICY
33
US Oil Companies in Venezuela The Forging of an Enduring Alliance
35
Chávez and the Search for an Alternative to Neoliberalism
60
LABOR AND RACE
75
Trade Union Autonomy and the Emergence of a New Labor Movement in Venezuela
77
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
119
Venezuelas Bolivarian Revolution Who Are the Chavistas?
121
Social Movements in a Polarized Setting Myths of Venezuelan Civil Society
140
ELECTORAL POLITICS SOCIAL CHANGE AND US REACTION
155
When No Means Yes to Revolution Electoral Politics in Bolivarian Venezuela
157
Confronting Hugo Chávez US Democracy Promotion in Latin America
185
Bibliography
207
Index
211

Ethnicity and Revolution The Political Economy of Racism in Venezuela
99
About the Contributors
219

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Steve Ellner is professor at the Universidad de Oriente, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. Miguel Tinker Salas is Arango Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a studies at Pomona College.

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