‍Leftist governments in Latin America: challenges and prospects

ZHANG Huiling1

(1.Department of Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature, School of Foreign Languages, Peking University)

【Abstract】Since the start of this millennium, center-left political parties have gained ruling power by winning elections in over ten Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. It is noticeable that the political axis of the region has moved towards the left. In the past decade, regional countries witnessed a strong economic growth and a remarkable social development. Recently, due to increasing downward economic pressure, leftist governments were facing challenges from widespread discontent. Intensifying social conflicts and rising election pressure in the region caused major election losses of some leftist ruling parties. It can be concluded that the leftist governments in the region had not yet found an alternative to neoliberalism. The capitalist system imposed heavy restrictions on their capacity to push political and economic reforms. Regarding the parties themselves, institutional building is weak. It also needs to be pointed out that the change of the U.S. policy toward Latin America has brought adverse impacts on leftist governments and parties. However, it is too early to draw the conclusion that the region is moving rightward to see a comeback of rightist parties.

【Keywords】 Latin American politics; leftist; democratic governance; ruling predicament;


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(Translated by LI Mingjiang)


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This Article


CN: 11-1160/C

Vol 38, No. 02, Pages 19-34+154-155

April 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 Currently forces of the Left in Latin America generally suffer a ruling predicament
  • 2 Challenges to leftist ruling in Latin America
  • 3 Realistic and historical reasons for the Latin American leftist ruling plight
  • 4 Several reflections on the prospects of Latin American leftist
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