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Latin American states took dramatic steps toward greater inclusion during the late twentieth and early twenty-first Centuries. Bringing together an accomplished group of scholars, this volume examines this shift by introducing three dimensions of inclusion: official recognition of historically excluded groups, access to policymaking, and resource redistribution. Tracing the movement along these dimensions since the 1990s, the editors argue that the endurance of democratic politics, combined with longstanding social inequalities, create the impetus for inclusionary reforms. Diverse chapters explore how factors such as the role of partisanship and electoral clientelism, constitutional design, state capacity, social protest, populism, commodity rents, international diffusion, and historical legacies encouraged or inhibited inclusionary reform during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Featuring original empirical evidence and a strong theoretical framework, the book considers cross-national variation, delves into the surprising paradoxes of inclusion, and identifies the obstacles hindering further fundamental change.
Why has violence spiked in Latin America's contemporary democracies? What explains its temporal and spatial variation? Analyzing the region's uneven homicide levels, this book maps out a theoretical agenda focusing on three intersecting factors: the changing geography of transnational illicit political economies; the varied capacity and complicity of state institutions tasked with providing law and order; and organizational competition to control illicit territorial enclaves. These three factors inform the emergence of 'homicidal ecologies' (subnational regions most susceptible to violence) in Latin America. After focusing on the contemporary causes of homicidal violence, the book analyzes the comparative historical origins of weak and complicit public security forces and the rare moments in which successful institutional reform takes place. Regional trends in Latin America are evaluated, followed by original case studies of Central America, which claims among the highest homicide rates in the world.