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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Midsouth Political Science Review
Title Re-Assessing the Rise of the Latin American Left
Author(s)
Volume 15
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 53-80
URL http://uca.edu/politicalscience/files/2014/07/MPSR-Vol151-2014-Rodriguez.pdf
Abstract
One of the most fascinating trends in Latin American politics over the
past fifteen years is the rise of Leftist and Center-Left leaning
democratically-elected presidents. This research fills voids in the
literature by analyzing a broad range of the historical antecedents
within and across countries that have nurtured Leftist and Center-Left
presidents, along with a new analysis of Latinobarometro polling data
collected over the past decade that reveals linkages between changes in
political culture and the election of Left-leaning presidents.
Part I of this research traces the experience of the Left in Latin America
over the past century and places rise of the Left in its proper historical
context. Part II analyzes the connections between changes in political
ideology with changes in ideological leadership by re-examining Marco
A. Morales’s findings in Leftovers: Tales of the Latin American Left,
and introducing more recent Latinobarometro data to strengthen the
analysis.
The historical perspective and analysis of political ideology expressed in
this study demonstrates that the Left has overcome tremendous
challenges and has managed to emerge as a dominant force in Latin
American politics. The findings suggest that the historical factors that
enabled the Left to rise to the presidential ranks have not changed, and
Leftist presidents and their parties are likely to be rewarded for the
dramatic economic accomplishments that have been achieved over the
past decade, as long as these leaders continue to appeal to self-identified
Centrists that hold the keys to victory for presidential candidates.

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