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Students will explore and understand the evolutions and revolutions that have brought the region to where it is today in the fully-updated new edition of Daniel Hellinger’s Comparative Politics of Latin America. This text offers a unique balance of comparative politics theory and interdisciplinary country-specific context, of a thematic organization and in-depth country case studies, of culture and economics, of scholarship and pedagogy. No other textbook draws on such a diverse range of scholarly literature to help students understand the ins and outs of politics in Latin America today.

Insightful historical background in early chapters provides students with a way to think about how the past influences the present. However, while history plays a part in this text, comparative politics is the primary focus, explaining through fully integrated, detailed case studies and carefully paced analysis such concepts as democratic breakdown and transition, formal and informal institutions, the rule of law, and the impact of globalization. Country-specific narratives integrate concepts and theories from comparative politics, leading to a richer understanding of both.

Several important features of the 2nd edition ensure student success:

  • Substantially reorganized text now with 16 chapters
  • Focus Questions at the start of every chapter
  • "For Review" boxes interspersed in every chapter to ensure comprehension
  • New "Punto de Vista" boxes in every chapter, showcasing competing perspectives on democratization and development throughout the region
  • Country locator maps spread throughout the book to help students orient themselves in the region
  • "Democracy Snapshot" graphics show support for democracy in each Latin American country
  • Bolded key terms focus attention on important concepts and a glossary at the end of the book provides a useful reference
  • Discussion questions and Further Resources at the end of each chapter
  • Integrated case studies on most countries in the region
  • A companion website ( with discussion questions and other useful study aids.

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