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Professor Eric Hershberg - Books


Public Affairs, School of
Kerwin Hall

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Public Affairs, School of
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
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A New Chapter in US-Cuba Relations

A New Chapter in US-Cuba Relations: Social, Political, and Economic Implications, Edited by Eric Hershberg and William M. LeoGrande. (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016).

This book explores the diverse consequences of Presidents Obama and Castro brokering a rapprochement between the United States and Cuba after more than half a century of estrangement. Economic, political, social, and cultural dynamics are analyzed in accessible fashion by leading experts from Cuba, the United States, Europe, and Latin America. What opportunities arise through the opening of diplomatic relations, and what issues may be obstacles to normalization? What are the implications for the Cuban economy, for its political system, and for ties with members of the Cuban diaspora? What are the implications for US relations elsewhere in Latin America? This up-to-date account addresses these and other questions about this new direction in US-Cuban relations.


“This timely, wide-ranging, and comprehensive analysis of US-Cuba relations describes the context for the significant changes since December 2014, thoughtfully imagines possible consequences of such changes for the times ahead, and provides a wealth of information about Cuba and its relations with the United States and the world."
--Jorge I. Domínguez, Professor and Chair of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University

“This is an exciting and timely book. After setting the political stage for D-17, the contributors provide excellent analyses of every single aspect of US-Cuba relations and the repercussions on the island of the dramatic shift. From economics to the arts, from investment to reconciliation, this book provides an essential guide to the new Cuban future."
--Miguel A. Centeno, Musgrave Professor of Sociology, Princeton University


Eric Hershberg - New Institutions

New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America, Edited by Maxwell A. Cameron, Eric Hershberg, and Kenneth E. Sharpe (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014).

This volume describes and analyzes the proliferation of new mechanisms for participation in Latin American democracies and considers the relationship between direct participation and the consolidation of representative institutions based on more traditional electoral conceptions of democracy. Encompassing case studies of Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Venezuela, the book draws on original fieldwork to assess how these new institutions operate in practice in order to illuminate the conditions under which strengthened institutions of direct participation enhance broader aims of democratic participation. In so doing, it conveys fresh perspectives on the quality of democracy in Latin America today and the future prospects for deepening democratic citizenship. The theoretical and empirical contributions of the book will stimulate interest among comparativist political scientists, Latin American Studies scholars, and students of democratic theory.


“Rather than assume that institutions of participatory democracy necessarily compete for political influence with more traditional institutions of representative democracy, New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America explores how the two might reinforce each other in positive ways that can improve the quality of democratic governance in the region. Based on case studies from six countries across Latin America, the volume is empirically rich and theoretically innovative.”
--Philip Oxhorn, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

“This volume provides a consistently original, insightful, and balanced overview of Latin America’s diverse efforts to deepen democracy through governance innovations that institutionalize citizen voice.”
--Jonathan Fox, University of California, Santa Cruz

“Elected politicians do not enjoy particularly high approval ratings in most contemporary democracies and certainly not in Latin America. In an attempt to bridge the gulf between voters and their representatives, a growing number of the region’s young democracies have experimented with new avenues of ‘direct democracy.’ This illuminating collaborative study explores the range and variability of such innovations, using fresh and first-hand research and observation. The picture that emerges is mixed and by no means stable.”
--Laurence Whitehead, Nuffield College, University of Oxford


Eric Hershberg - Latin America's Left Turns

Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies and Trajectories of Change, Edited by Maxwell A. Cameron and Eric Hershberg (Lynne Rienner, 2010).

This accessible, up-to-date look at Latin American politics explores how--and to what effect--diverse forces on the left have not only captured the imagination of vast swathes of the continent's population, but also taken hold of the reins of government. The authors assess the multiple currents of Latin America's left turns, considering their origins, their relationships to political parties and social movements, and their performance in office. They also consider the challenges faced by such leaders as Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, and "Lula" da Silva in efforts to address long-standing socioeconomic inequalities. Explicitly comparative and enhanced with solid empirical material, the book offers a thoughtful commentary on Latin America's changing political environment.


"Offer[s] readers insightful and plausible interpretations of contemporary politics in the region."
--Benjamin Goldfrank, Perspectives on Politics

"Engages readers in a historically informed, balanced, provocative, and lively conversation about the current leftist turns in Latin America, and their futures.”
--Shannan Mattiace, Allegheny College

"An extraordinary collection. This volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the current dynamics of Latin American politics."
--Julio F. Carrion, University of Delaware


Eric Hershberg - Turning the Tide? Latin America After Neoliberalism

Turning the Tide? Latin America After Neoliberalism, Edited by Eric Hershberg and Fred Rosen (The New Press, 2006).

Beginning in the 1980s, Latin America became a laboratory for the ideas and policies of neoliberalism. Now the region is an epicenter of dissent from neoliberal ideas and resistance to U.S. economic and political dominance; Latin America’s political map is being redrawn. Already half a dozen progressive governments have swept into power—in Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela—and more may follow. Latin America After Neoliberalism is a fascinating look at what is perhaps the most politically dynamic region in the world—and an authoritative guide to the political movements and leaders that are part of this historic change.

Published in conjunction with the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) and written by leading progressive analysts of the region, this book takes on the full spectrum of contemporary issues in Latin America, from political transformation to the role of women, indigenous people, and labor coalitions. Latin America After Neoliberalism attempts to make sense of the ongoing upheavals throughout the continent as it moves into the vanguard of an international rejection of neoliberalism for a new and viable progressive alternative.


“This is a book for those who wish to look beyond the headlines and understand the complexity of today’s Latin America…A thoughtful and balanced assessment.”
--Jean Franco, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

“Two decades of failed neoliberal economics in Latin America have unleashed a popular electoral storm that is sweeping progressives and social democrats to power. This first-rate collection helps explain the transformation underway.”
--William LeoGrande, School of Public Affairs, American University

“This volume goes well beyond the familiar litany of the failures of market orthodoxy to probe urgent issues ranging from U.S. hegemony and the limits of democracy promotion to the search for social justice and multicultural citizenship in a globalizing world.”
--William C. Smith, editor of Latin American Politics and Society and professor of international studies, University of Miami

“Provides the map we all need to navigate the exciting, tumultuous, and uncharted terrain of Latin American politics for the new times in the making.”
--Charles R. Hale, professor of anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, and president of Latin American Studies Association


Eric Hershberg - Memorias militares

Memorias militares: visiones en disputa en dictadura y democracia, Edited by Eric Hershberg and Felipe Aguero (Siglo XXI, 2005).

This volume forms part of the Memorias de la Represión (Memories of the Repression) series that makes available the results of the Social Science Research Council Panel Regional de America Latina, with the goal of promoting research on the reports of political repression in the Southern Cone. Under the direction of Elizabeth Jelin and Carlos Ivan Degregori, and funds provided by the Ford, Rockefeller, and Hewlett foundations, the program supported close to 60 young researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States.

The program was designed to address three different yet interrelated questions. The first question is the need to generate advances in theory and research that contribute and enrich the debates over the nature of memory in the region, its role in the constitution of collective identity, and the consequences of debate over memory in the social practices and policies of societies in transition. The second question and objective is to promote the development of a new generation of researchers with training in theory and methodology, prepared to articulate new perspectives regarding social processes of memory, but also prepared to address the wide variety of hot issues that will arise in Latin America and the Southern Cone in the future. Finally, the program aims at creating a network of public intellectuals in the region concerned with the study of societal memory and issues related to it.


Eric Hershberg - Critical Views

Critical Views of September 11: Analyses from Around the World, Edited by Eric Hershberg and Kevin W. Moore (The New Press, 2002).

In the months since September 11, millions of Americans have belatedly awakened to the fact that they ignore the world at their peril. A sudden surge of interest in international affairs represents a dramatic turnaround from a decades-long decline. Critical Views of September 11: Analyses from Around the World provides deep perspective on the changing world order in the wake of the attacks and the war in Afghanistan. An unprecedented array of scholars from around the world offer candid and unsparing views of the international order and America's role in the world from the vantage of Africa, Europe, South Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. In so doing, they provide fresh insight into the varying perceptions of the September 11 attacks and the United States' response. The essays analyze such issues as security, terrorism and international order, globalization and economic liberalism, and the new social and cultural challenges stemming from the terrorist attacks.


Eric Hershberg - Economic Governance

Economic Governance and Flexible Production in East Asia, Edited by Frederic C. Deyo, Richard F. Doner, and Eric Hershberg (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001).

This book analyzes the institutional underpinnings of East Asia's dynamic growth by exploring the interplay between governance and flexibility in an endlessly demanding globalized marketplace. In case studies that encompass a variety of key industrial sectors and countries, the contributors emphasize the importance of network patterns of governance for facilitating flexibility in firms throughout the region. Their analyses illuminate both the strengths and limitations of recent growth strategies and offer insights into prospects for continued expansion in the wake of the East Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s.


Eric Hershberg - Constructing Democracy

Constructing Democracy: Human Rights, Citizenship and Society in Latin America, Edited by Elizabeth Jelin and Eric Hershberg (Westview, 1996).

This path-breaking contribution to debates about human rights and democracy moves beyond questions of state terror and other violent abuses to embrace broader concepts of human rights: citizenship, identity, civil society, racism, gender discrimination, and poverty. In particular, contributors analyze the impact of past human rights violations on the consolidation of new democracies, examine the emerging international network of human rights organizations, and explore notions of citizenship, linking them to debates about definitions of rights. Case studies shed light on enduring patterns of discrimination against marginalized groups. (Also published in Spanish as Construir la democracia: derechos humanos, ciudadanía y sociedad en América Latina [Nueva Sociedad, 1996] and in Portuguese as Construindo a Democracia: Direitos Humanos, Cidadania e Sociedade na América Latina [Editorial da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 2007]).


“This is breakthrough book that grapples creatively with problems which have emerged in transitions from authoritarian to democratizing regimes. Rooted in astute analyses of both the legacies of traditional Latin American political culture and the authoritarianism of the 1960s-1980s, this work identifies impediments to the greater enjoyment of human rights and the benefits of citizenry in the twenty-first century, including the internationalization of crime and the violence that accompanies it. It provides an excellent introduction to the issue for scholars, students, policy makers, and the general public alike.”
--Margaret Crahan, Hunter College

“By placing human rights at the center of its analysis, Constructing Democracy identifies the issue of crucial importance for the durability and the quality of democratic institutions: citizenship. The essays in this volume offer the most novel treatment of democracy I have read in a long time.”
--Adam Przeworski, New York University