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Latin America and Global Capitalism

A Critical Globalization Perspective

This ambitious volume chronicles and analyzes from a critical globalization perspective the social, economic, and political changes sweeping across Latin America from the 1970s through the present day. Sociologist William I. Robinson summarizes his theory of globalization and discusses how Latin America’s political economy has changed as the states integrate into the new global production and financial system, focusing specifically on the rise of nontraditional agricultural exports, the explosion of maquiladoras, transnational tourism, and the export of labor and the import of remittances. He follows with an overview of the clash among global capitalist forces, neoliberalism, and the new left in Latin America, looking closely at the challenges and dilemmas resistance movements face and their prospects for success.

Through three case studies—the struggles of the region's indigenous peoples, the immigrants rights movement in the United States, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela—Robinson documents and explains the causes of regional socio-political tensions, provides a theoretical framework for understanding the present turbulence, and suggests possible outcomes to the conflicts.

Based on years of fieldwork and empirical research, this study elucidates the tensions that globalization has created and shows why Latin America is a battleground for those seeking to shape the twenty-first century’s world order.

About the Author

William I. Robinson is a professor of sociology, global studies, and Latin American and Iberian studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of several books on globalization, including A Theory of Global Capitalism, also published by Johns Hopkins.


A scathing indictment of neoliberal globalization from an explicitly anti-capitalist perspective... An exemplary treatment of Latin America’s present day political economy and social predicaments.

- Jeffery R. Webber - Monthly Review

An important book for anyone interested in where our imperiled planet is headed. Robinson... is admirably thorough in his overview of the direction capitalism has taken in Latin America since the 1970s.

- Ben Terrall - San Francisco Bay Guardian

Robinson's latest book offers brilliant insight into the underlying causes and current dilemmas of globalization.

- James M. Cypher - NACLA Report on the Americas

This book is a must read, not only for Latin American specialists, but for all those who draw the connection between political economy at the world level and strategies for change.

- Steve Ellner - Science and Society

An important contribution to globalization studies.

- Benjamin Kohl - Latin America and Caribbean Contemporary Record

His heterodox and challenging views make provocative reading.

- Carlos Davila - Business History Review

William I. Robinson has demonstrated once again his importance as a theorist and socially committed academic with his book Latin America and Global Capitalism. This book is a 'must-read' for any scholar interested in the dynamics of contemporary capitalism as well as its specific features in Latin America.

- David Martin and Raul Delgado Wise - International Journal of Comparative Sociology


William I. Robinson has delivered us a powerful statement on contemporary Latin America as both a product of globalization and a challenge to the view that 'there is no alternative.' This is a wide ranging political economy which is both well researched and eminently readable. A must!

- Ronaldo Munck, author of Contemporary Latin America

Building on his pathbreaking work on emerging transnational states, classes, and relations of production, William Robinson reveals the deepening, overlapping, and ultimately unsustainable global crises of legitimacy, overaccumulation, and polarization. Robinson argues with great analytical lucidity that Latin America's current 'left turn,' more than a manifestation of turbulence, is a struggle over the shape of the new world to come.

- Greg Grandin, author of Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism

Robinson's book is a model for critical globalization studies—empirically grounded and theoretically sophisticated. He shows us how Latin America is on the frontlines in the struggle to determine what will succeed the neoliberal paradigm of the capitalist global order.

- Michael Hardt, coauthor of Empire and Multitude

A provocative and worthwhile read for those interested in the political economy of Latin America as well as the processes of globalization.

- Sean Burges - International Affairs

9780801890390 : latin-america-and-global-capitalism-robinson
444 Pages
$60.00 USD
9780801896361 : latin-america-and-global-capitalism-robinson
Electronic book text
444 Pages
$40.00 USD

Other Titles by William I. Robinson

A Theory of Global Capitalism

William I. Robinson
Mar 2004 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$25.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Johns Hopkins Studies in Globalization

The Globalizers

Jeffrey T. Jackson
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East Asia and the Global Economy

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The Making of Global City Regions

edited by Klaus Segbers - with the assistance of Simon Raiser and Krister Volkmann
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edited by Bruce Magnusson, Zahi Zalloua
Aug 2017 - University of Washington Press
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Global Perspectives on Higher Education

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Apr 2016 - Johns Hopkins University Press
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Explaining Civil Society Development

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Authoritarianism Goes Global

edited by Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, and Christopher Walker
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