2.20-2.22lapol

2.20-2.22lapol - Latin American Politics February 20, 2007...

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Latin American Politics 20/02/2007 17:41:00 February 20, 2007 Latin America saw wave of Bureaucratic Authoritarian (BA) governments come to power in response to economic crises Military governments came to power with goals in economic and political realms Economic front: economic restructuring/stabilization Political front: sought to establish orderly arenas in Argentina, Chile and Brazil (depoliticization of society) Military governments wanted to deactivate political groups from poorer class and destroy the left By destroying left and deactivating, they thought it would make austerity measures easier to implement Governments claimed that subversives and Marxists had to be repressed To achieve this, the gov’ts initiated repressive “internal war” measures Political parties on both right and left were disbanded; party leaders were exiled, and leaders on the left were treated even more harsly Labor leaders were also treated harshly These sectors were repressed for several reasons: 1) goal of wiping out Marxism o in cases like Brazil and Chile, Marxists had power; in situations like Argentina, threat was more latent (less developed) o governments wanted a climate of fear that would allow for apolitical decision-making (meaning no compromises) o policy was to be about problem solving and implementing the solutions they chose, not about building coalitions or organization 2) destroy civil society o wreck labor unions
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o end possibility of protest o this repression was disliked and threatened initial popularity of military governments In all three cases, governments were successful in establishing order The left was crushed and politics ‘disappeared’ as result of effective oppression and fear it engendered Strong economic turnaround as foreign companies returned Once crises were addressed, there rose new challenges: how to justify continued presence in power That is, there was less of a necessity to have military in power This meant popular support for regimes narrowed On the other hand, there was an opportunity to seize on the lack of opposition and carry out longer term policies In the long run, Argentina, Brazil and Chile designed projects with goals of long term transformations Each government had a different vision of what the transformations should be BRAZIL First country to become BA regime Least repressive: did not outlaw congress or other institutions of politics; just overtook executive branch This meant legislative and local elections were still held Few Brazilians were exiled Repression – at least at the start – was rather limited Nevertheless, regime made radical efforts to depoliticize Brazil’s politics New military government set up its own parties
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1) Party of the government: ARENA 2) Part of the opposition: MDB Elections under military government were not free and fair ; still, they provided some
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course POLS W4461 taught by Professor O'neal during the Spring '07 term at Columbia.

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2.20-2.22lapol - Latin American Politics February 20, 2007...

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