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Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

16. US foreign policy in Latin America  

James Dunkerley

This chapter examines the historical evolution of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. It begins with a discussion of the Monroe Doctrine and manifest destiny, which sought to contain European expansion and to justify that of the United States under an ethos of hemispherism. It then considers the projection of U.S. power beyond its frontiers in the early twentieth century, along with the effect of the Cold War on U.S. policy towards Latin America. It also explores American policy towards the left in Central America, where armed conflict prevailed in the 1980s, and that for South America, where the Washington Consensus brought an end to the anti-European aspects of the Monroe Doctrine by promoting globalization.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

16. US foreign policy in Latin America  

James Dunkerley

This chapter examines US foreign policy in Latin America and the historical evolution of US relations with the region. It first considers the Monroe Doctrine and manifest destiny, which sought to contain European expansion and to justify that of the United States under an ethos of hemispherism, before discussing the projection of US power beyond its frontiers in the early twentieth century. It then explores the United States’ adoption of a less unilateral approach during the depression of the 1930s and an aggressively ideological approach in the wake of the Cuban Revolution. It also analyzes US policy towards the left in Central America, where armed conflict prevailed in the 1980s, and in South America, where the Washington Consensus brought an end to the anti-European aspects of the Monroe Doctrine by promoting globalization. Finally, it looks at the impact of the Cold War on US policy towards Latin America.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

18. Instability in Latin America  

This chapter examines the reasons for the instability in Latin America during the Cold War. The oil crisis of 1973–4, followed by trade deficits, depression, and high inflation, helped promote revolutionary ideas among the landless peasants and urban poor of many Latin American countries. Under Jimmy Carter, with his interest in promoting human rights, a more active and enlightened US policy towards Latin America might have been expected. However, his aims were inconsistent, as the moral cause of human rights clashed with local realities and other American interests. The chapter first considers the Reagan Doctrine and Ronald Reagan’s meddling in El Salvador before discussing the involvement of the US in Nicaragua and the ‘Contragate’ scandal. It concludes with an assessment of the US invasions of Grenada and Panama.

Chapter

Cover Democratization

6. The Global Wave of Democratization  

John Markoff and Daniel Burridge

This chapter focuses on the great wave of democracy that had touched every continent. In the early 1970s, Western Europe was home to several non-democratic countries, most of Latin America was under military or other forms of authoritarian rule, the eastern half of Europe was ruled by communist parties, much of Asia was undemocratic, and in Africa colonial rule was largely being succeeded by authoritarian regimes. By the early twenty-first century, things had changed considerably, albeit to different degrees in different places. The chapter looks at regions of the world that underwent significant change in democracy between 1972 and 2004, including Mediterranean Europe, Latin America, Soviet/Communist Bloc, Asia, and Africa. It considers what was distinctive about each region’s democratization and what they had in common. It concludes with an overview of challenges faced by democracy in the early twenty-first century.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

6. Maintaining the Spheres of Influence  

This chapter examines how the United States and the Soviet Union tried to maintain their respective spheres of influence during the Cold War, especially in three regions: Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Latin America. The death of Joseph Stalin and the assumption of power by the triumvirate of Lavrenti Beria, Nikita Khrushchev, and Georgi Malenkov resulted in a fresh approach to domestic issues and to the nature of Soviet control over its European satellites. The apparent change produced a new Soviet approach to East–West relations. The chapter first considers how the new Soviet leadership addressed the crisis in East Germany before analysing American influence in Western Europe and US relations with Latin America. The discussion covers themes and events such as the Soviet policy on Hungary and Poland, the Messina Conference and the Spaak Committee, nuclear cooperation and multilateral force, and the US response to the Cuban Revolution.

Chapter

Cover Democratization

20. Latin America  

Andrea Oelsner and Mervyn Bain

This chapter examines the main features of the undemocratic regimes that were in power in Latin America from the late 1960s, along with the democratization processes that followed since the 1980s. The nature of the non-democratic governments varied throughout the region, and consequently the types of transition and the quality of the resulting democracy varied as well. The chapter focuses on four cases that reflect these differences: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. For each country, the chapter reviews a number of dimensions that have been relevant in the democratization processes: the historical and international contexts, the role of economic factors, political culture and society, political parties and social movements, and the institutional challenges that still lie ahead.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Since 1945

11. Other Regional Conflicts  

This chapter examines conflicts in Latin America, South-East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East during the Cold War in which the United States and the Soviet Union were involved. Lyndon B. Johnson’s decision to escalate the war in Vietnam may have been encouraged in the spring of 1965 by events in the Caribbean, where armed intervention by US Marines put a quick end to a supposed communist menace in the Dominican Republic. Arguably, this action reflected a change of priorities from the Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies, when there were hopes of the US stimulating Latin American economic development. The chapter first considers US intervention in the Dominican Republic before discussing the Malaysia–Indonesia ‘confrontation’ of 1963–1966, the Indo–Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, and the Six Day War in 1967 between Arabs and Israelis.