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Special Collection

Elite and Popular Responses to a Left in Crisis

Collection launched: 18 Dec 2019
Latin America's political economy is currently undergoing profound changes. The natural resource boom that underwrote much of the region's economic growth for a decade and a half has ended. In this new context of economic uncertainty, a new wave of social conflict has emerged, as both popular and elite sectors seek to defend past gains. Furthermore, the wave of diverse left governments that began to sweep the region at the turn of the century, known as the ‘pink tide’, is now receding. This is evidenced by recent right wing advances or electoral victories, including in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela. In short, the contradictions of the pink tide's attempts to create a more socially just alternative to neoliberalism, be it through reformist or more radical means, appear to be unraveling, offering a privileged opportunity for analysis of deeper and emerging dynamics. In this special issue we examine these new developments through country-specific case study research. Our aim is twofold. First, it is to understand the degree to which emergent developments represent transformations in the relationship between the state, society and economy in countries that are currently or have been recently under pink tide governance. Second, it is to understand the shift in the balance of social forces driving these transformations. The first half of this issue focuses on the relationship between economic elites, the economy, and the state. The second focuses on the relationship between popular sectors and the state.