The Democratic Horizon of Emancipation: Interview with Maristella Svampa on the Crisis of the Progressive Cycle in Latin America

The Democratic Horizon of Emancipation: Interview with Maristella Svampa on the Crisis of the Progressive Cycle in Latin America

BY GERARDO MUÑOZ

TRANSLATED BY ANNE FREELAND

Maristella Svampa is a sociologist and researcher at CONICET (National Technical and Scientific Research Council) at the University of La Plata. She is the author of a dozen books that have had a significant impact on the academic and public discussion of regional politics, social movements, and the function of the state in Latin America. Among her most recent books are Fifteen Myths and Realities of Transnational Mining in Argentina (Colectivo Ediciones Herramientas, 2011), Maldevelopment: Extractivism and Plunder in Argentina (co-written with Enrique Viale, Katz, 2014), and Latin American Debates: Indianism, Development, Dependency, and Populism (Edhasa, 2016). Over the course of the decade, Svampa’s critical work has constituted a sustained effort to understand the progressive actors of the region, as well as an inquiry into the geopolitical configuration at the intersection of state form and transnational capital.

Read More

The Exhaustion of the Progressive Political Cycle in Latin America and Posthegemonic Reflection

The Exhaustion of the Progressive Political Cycle in Latin America and Posthegemonic Reflection

BY GERARDO MUÑOZ

More than a decade since the eruption of the “progressive cycle” of Latin American governments, a question has become inevitable after the recent presidential elections in Argentina: what is left of the Latin American Left? Is it still possible to isolate divergent tendencies in the Latin American progressive wave at the current moment of generalized international financial domination? Does the question of the ‘exhaustion’ of the progressive cycle not open a gap that invites us to think beyond the popular distinction of the “two Lefts”, proposed by Jorge Castañeda (2006), that strategically separated a “good democratic left” committed to liberalism and the market from an “authoritarian” one, heir to populist and caudillo legacies of the Latin American political tradition?

Read More

INTRODUCTION | Beyond Identity and the State: The Crisis of the Latin American Progressive Cycle

INTRODUCTION | Beyond Identity and the State: The Crisis of the Latin American Progressive Cycle

BY GERARDO MUÑOZ

In this introduction, Gerardo Muñoz discusses the question underpinning this dossier, as we seem to witness the crisis of the Latin American progressive cycle. The contributions collected are varied in style and argumentation, as well as in the case studies discussed. Yet, they are not meant to be read as comprehensive reflections on the region throughout these years. Instead, each of the contributions essentially should be read as evoking a paradigm that allows us to rethink a problem or a series of problems that traverse different key sites. These are also conjectural texts, but to the extent that they seek to think through central issues of Latin America politics, they also exceed the established temporal parameters fixed by the ‘untimely present’ or the ‘actual movement’ of contemporaneity. There is a tension throughout across the articles that point to different ways of understanding the ‘crisis’ (which is fundamentally the crisis or krenein of thought, that is, of judgment).

Read More