Latin America’s Pink Tide
Before the rise of Syriza, Podemos, Momentum, and Bernie Sanders, there was the “Pink Tide”—a wave of electoral victories that brought to power, in the early 2000s, left-wing governments in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, and elsewhere throughout Latin America. Emerging from a decade of indigenous democratic struggle, and openly rejecting the so-called Washington Consensus, with its export-directed prescription of privatization, deregulation, foreign ownership, and slashes to social spending, the governments of the Pink Tide set about enacting an egalitarian agenda aimed at reducing inequality, socializing essential services, ending malnutrition, and bolstering indigenous, women’s, and LGBTQ rights. In the ensuing years, Pink Tide countries did indeed see substantial economic growth coupled with decreases in inequality and poverty—as well as increases in public health, literacy, and popular political participation. Yet, by 2016, the Tide was said, particularly in the Anglophonic press, to have “ebbed’; and today, revanchist right-wing governments preside in Brazil and Bolivia. In this course, we will consider the origins, context, policies, struggles, and complicated legacy of the Pink Tide, examining in particular the cases of Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela. We’ll seek to understand the Pink Tide as a multifaceted period of transformation, and situate it within the 21st-century international order. How did global geopolitical arrangements, particularly U.S. hegemony, affect the Pink Tide’s trajectory, and how, in turn, did progressive Latin American governments shape geopolitics? What are we to make of the Pink Tide’s success—and failures? And what, in the Pink Tide’s wake, is the political situation in Latin America today?
Course ScheduleThursday, 6:30-9:30pm EST
September 17 — October 08, 2020