News from Caracas ricocheted around the globe last week. For a moment, the world held its collective breath. Could people power win in Venezuela? Indeed, it looked like recent events could mark a major new inflection point in Venezuela’s crisis.
In Europe and beyond, today populism is alive and kicking. Over the past few years, anti-establishment parties have made substantial strides. Some of them have reached the levers of governments, while others are consolidating their gains.
The 7 October elections are the most uncertain presidential elections in Brazil in 20 years. It could not have been otherwise after four turbulent years, with the impeachment of the president, Dilma Rousseff, the corruption scandals, the arrest of Lula da Silva and the rise of a far-right outsider who has literally routed all his cards.
The BRICS group – composed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – is one of the most eloquent symbols of a changing global order. Since its creation in 2006, the BRICS became a political platform for emerging powers to push for a more multipolar world. This became even more evident in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, as the BRICS began to demand specific reforms of institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The upcoming Brazilian elections are unprecedented in several different ways. On the one hand, never before has the country seen the degree of polarization that has come to define this presidential race.
The second round of the Brazilian presidential election on the 28th of October 2018 is likely to be between Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party and Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party. This is an unexpected result and not the choice that many Brazilians would have wished for.
The administration of US President Donald Trump is not popular in Latin America. In both rhetoric and policy, it has – repeatedly – been more destructive than constructive. The slurs against Mexicans. Trump’s wall to fence out more Latinos. Pulling out of a Trans-Pacific Partnership that included Mexico, Peru and Chile. Attacking countries in the region for closer commercial relations with China.
Illicit drug trade is an integral part of the recent history in Afghanistan and Colombia. The past few decades have seen narcotics have severe social, political and economic impact in both countries. This paper outlines the development of the narcotics industries in each country and synthesizes the commonalities that have arisen from this shared phenomenon. It seeks to highlight lessons that Afghanistan and Colombia can learn from each other and concludes with recommendations on a way forward from the current impasse.
Latin America is at a crossroads. The “golden age” inaugurated with the turn of the new millennium seems a faint memory. Economies that had grown at a steady pace are now slowing down, while some are in freefall.
Politically, the “pink tide” of populist movements is now ebbing. From Brazil to Venezuela, from Argentina to Bolivia, left-leaning leaders across the region seem to have lost their bond with the people. Their promises of an equitable society through an apparently never-ending redistribution of wealth crashed against the reality of shortsighted and unsustainable policies. Political and social turmoil are heralding an era of changes and – maybe – of new opportunities for Latin America. And this ‘great transformation’ is precisely what this volume is all about.
Where is it leading to? Does it mark the beginning of a new age? Which lessons can be learnt from the past? Leading international scholars and experts scratch beneath the surface of Latin America’s current crisis to have a clearer glimpse of what the future holds and draw policy recommendations, especially for the EU.