Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela

  • 195 pages
  • Anglais
  • Format Kindle
Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela

ᥔ Format Kindle ᗛ Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela ᦖ PDF by Javier Corrales ᧔ Since he was first elected in 1999, Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez Fras has reshaped a frail but nonetheless pluralistic democracy into a semi authoritarian regimean outcome achieved with spectacularly high oil income and widespread electoral support This eye opening book illuminates one of the most sweeping and unexpected political transformations in contemporary Latin America.Based on than fifteen years experience in researching and writing about Venezuela, Javier Corrales and Michael Penfold have crafted a comprehensive account of how the Chvez regime has revamped the nation, with a particular focus on its political transformation Throughout, they take issue with conventional explanations First, they argue persuasively that liberal democracy as an institution was not to blame for the rise of chavismo Second, they assert that the nation s economic ailments were not caused by neoliberalism Instead they blame other factors, including a dependence on oil, which caused macroeconomic volatility political party fragmentation, which triggered infighting government mismanagement of the banking crisis, which led to centralization of power and the Asian crisis of 1997, which devastated Venezuela s economy at the same time that Chvez ran for president.It is perhaps on the role of oil that the authors take greatest issue with prevailing opinion They do not dispute that dependence on oil can generate political and economic distortionsthe resource curse or paradox of plenty argumentsbut they counter that oil alone fails to explain Chvez s rise Instead they single out a weak framework of checks and balances that allowed the executive branch to extract oil rents and distribute them to the populace The real culprit behind Chvez s success, they write, was the asymmetry of political power.Javier Corrales is associate professor of political science at Amherst College He is the author of Presidents Without Parties The Politics of Economic Reform in Argentina and Venezuela in the 1990s Penn State, 2002 Michael Penfold is associate professor of political economy at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion in Caracas, where he also serves as research dean He was previously executive director at the Venezuelan Investment Council. 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