Publications

Democracy in Mexico: Attitudes and perceptions of citizens at national and local level

Democracy in Mexico: Attitudes and perceptions of citizens at national and local level

This publication will be available in late June 2014 Democracy in Mexico. Attitudes and perceptions of citizens at national and local level, offers an important contribution to one of the more complex and multifaceted political processes of recent decades in Latin America: Mexico’s democratisation at the national and subnational levels. The chapters – on topics including the quality of democracy, political participation and insecurity, amongst others – have been researched and written by a group of academics from the University of Salamanca and El Colegio de México, with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT). Importantly, the volume is based on two surveys carried out throughout Mexico in 2009 and in 2011. The result of this period of collaboration is one of the few existing studies on democratic processes in the Mexican states, which we hope will provoke an important debate within the academic community. Salvador Martí i Puig is a permanent lecturer at the University of Salamanca and member of the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB). Reynaldo Yunuen Ortega Ortíz is the director of the journal Foro Internacional and lecturer-researcher in the Centre of International Studies at the Colegio de México. Mª Fernanda Somuano Ventura is academic coordinator of the Master’s in Political Science and lecturer-researcher in the Centre of International Studies at the Colegio de México. Claire Wright is a lecturer and researcher in Political Science at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Mexico.

Fifty Years On: The Cuban Missile Crisis Revised and Reinterpreted

Fifty Years On: The Cuban Missile Crisis Revised and Reinterpreted

On the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis Mark White re-examines the most dangerous episode in the history of the Cold War. Utilising declassified materials, he provides a fresh interpretation of the roles play by John Kennedy’s team of advisers. In particular, the contributions made by Robert McNamara and Robert Kennedy are re-evaluated.

Broken Government? American Politics in the Obama Era

Broken Government? American Politics in the Obama Era

Barack Obama’s election as president in 2008 generated widespread hope that the United States was entering a new era whereby government, in a reversal of Ronald Reagan’s famous dictum, would be the solution to the nation’s manifold problems amid the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The Obama election slogan of “Yes We Can” seemed to voice a hope that new leadership would put right what had gone wrong with America. Within a short time, however, “Yes We Can” gave way to “No We Can’t,” as America’s government became enmeshed in gridlock and political polarisation. This led to a debate as to whether American government was broken and in need of substantial procedural and political reform. This volume, with contributors drawn from both the US and UK, offers an international perspective on one of the most important political questions of our time. They review the causes of America's governmental dysfunction and assess what can be done to put matters right.

Traslados/Translations: Essays on Latin America in Honour of Jason Wilson

Traslados/Translations: Essays on Latin America in Honour of Jason Wilson

  This volume is an investigation of some of the enduring preoccupations of one of the UK’s foremost Latin Americanists. The essays, by a distinguished group of scholars including former students, colleagues, and intellectual interlocutors, reflect a number of Jason Wilson’s many research interests. They continue conversations with and develop lines of enquiry fostered by his work in areas as diverse as travel, translation, cultural and intellectual history, literary and visual culture. At the same time, the essays address a wide selection of important topics in Latin American Studies and will contribute to our understanding of many different aspects of the region’s culture and history: for example, by engaging with recent historical re-evaluations of Alexander von Humboldt or by amplifying the emerging scholarship on ‘post-conflict’ visual representations of Argentina, or by enriching our knowledge of the works of writers such as Jorge Luis Borges and Alejandra Pizarnik. The contributions to the collection cohere in their variegated but consistent engagement with concepts of traslado or translation, whether these are interpreted as material, cultural, intertextual, or generic processes of transit and transference.  Claire Lindsay is Senior Lecturer in Latin American literature at University College London. She is the author of Locating Latin American Women Writers (2003) and Contemporary Travel Writing of Latin America (2010).  

Organized Labour and Politics in Mexico: Changes, Continuities and Contradictions

Organized Labour and Politics in Mexico: Changes, Continuities and Contradictions

This book examines the changes, continuities and contradictions characterizing labour politics in Mexico since the 1980s.  As a consequence of market-liberalizing reforms and historic shifts in government policy toward organized labour, the labour movement has declined substantially in size, bargaining strength and political influence. Electoral democratization has expanded individual workers’ choices at the ballot box and increased political pluralism in the labour movement. Some unions have also bolstered their power resources by forging transnational alliances with counterparts in Canada and the United States. On the whole, however, democratization has had remarkably little impact on the state-labour relations regime institutionalized following the Mexican Revolution of 1910–20. This legal regime both underpins the position of unrepresentative union leaders and grants government officials highly discretionary control over the formation of unions, the election of union leaders and unions’ actions. The combination of weakened labour organizations, unaccountable union leaders and strong government controls fundamentally constrains workers’ capacity to defend their interests. This state of affairs — and especially the failure to enact progressive labour law reform since democratic regime change in 2000 — limits democracy and imposes heavy costs on both unionized workers and Mexican society as a whole. By engaging debates concerning organized labour’s role in democratization, and by demonstrating the essential compatibility between market-focused economic policies and state-labour practices rooted in Mexico’s authoritarian past, this book contributes to a broader assessment of organized labour’s role in contemporary Latin America.     Graciela Bensusán is Research Professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco in Mexico City and Research Professor (part-time) at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales-México. Kevin J. Middlebrook is Professor of Politics at the Institute for the Study of the Americas (School of Advanced Study), University of London.  

Quebec and the Heritage of  Franco-America

Quebec and the Heritage of Franco-America

This study marks the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec and consists of six essays by a team of contributors drawn from Quebec, the USA, France and the UK.  It explores the concept of Franco-American heritage as not a modern remnant of a lost French North American empire but a thriving entity that grew in both vitality and geographical spread in the centuries after the Conquest of 1759.  Two things are fundamental to the essays in the collection:  Franco-America’s heritage was neither French nor American but something different and unique from both; and its geographical extent spread far beyond Quebec province, where it was born, and penetrated into large parts of so-called Anglo-America – in other words it was continental rather than provincial in nature.    The hard copy version can be found at http://www.sas.ac.uk/publication_view.html?id=730. This title can also be bought in Kindle format at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00630XU1W. 

Presidents in the Movies: American History and Politics on Screen

Presidents in the Movies: American History and Politics on Screen

Cinematic depictions of real U.S. presidents from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush explore how Hollywood movies represent American history and politics on screen. Morgan and his contributors show how films blend myth and reality to present a positive message about presidents as the epitome of America’s values and idealism until unpopular foreign wars in Vietnam and Iraq led to a darker portrayal of the imperial presidency, operated by Richard Nixon and Bush 43. This exciting new collection further considers how Hollywood has continually reinterpreted historically significant presidents, notably Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, to fit the times in which movies about them were made.

Negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas

Negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas

The first detailed account of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations, this book covers the genesis of the project in the early 1990s to its demise in late 2003. It examines how the FTAA, an Inter-American policy idea, was incompatible with the predominant ideas and beliefs of Brazilian and American decision makers as to how they could and should conduct their countries' foreign trade policy in the Western Hemisphere.

Fractured Politics: Peruvian Democracy Past and Present

Fractured Politics: Peruvian Democracy Past and Present

Latin American opinion surveys consistently point to Peruvian citizens’ deep distrust of their elected rulers and democratic institutions. The 2011 presidential and legislative elections in Peru, along with the regional and municipal polls of the previous year, showed once again the degree of political fragmentation in contemporary Peru and the weakness of the party system. The chapters in this book are based on papers given at a conference, held in March 2009 in Saint Antony’s College Oxford, by leading scholars of Peruvian politics with Julio Cotler, from the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP), the keynote speaker. The book examines the history of political exclusion in Peru, the weakness of representative institutions and the persistence of localised violent protest. It also evaluates the contribution of institutional reforms in bridging the gap between state and society, including the Law on Political Parties, administrative decentralisation, and the experience of the Defensoría or ombudsman’s office.

The Nitrate King

The Nitrate King

The first book-length biography of John Thomas North (1842-1896), known as 'Colonel North' in Britain and throughout the world as 'The Nitrate King,' this book utilizes sources in Britain and Chile and traces North's spectacular life from a mechanic in Leeds through his thirteen years in Peru and Chile culminating in his status as one of the richest and best-known men of his generation. North is today almost completely forgotten in Britain and remembered in Chile only to be vilified as the archetypal predatory capitalist. This book calls for a revaluation of North and examines several controversies-- principally the enduring allegations that North manipulated the War of the Pacific and the Chilean Civil War of 1891. The book describes North's business activities; his re-invention as country gentleman at Avery Hill mansion; and his generosity, including the gift of Kirkstall Abbey to the city of Leeds.