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Sekai no naka no Latin America Seiji (Latin American Politics in the World)


MASUKATA Shuichiro, MIYACHI Takahiro


328 pages, A5 format, softcover




March 27, 2023



Published by

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Press

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Sekai no naka no Latin America Seiji

This book is an overview of Latin American politics. Aimed at University undergraduate classes, it consists of 12 chapters. It covers periods from the Pre-Columbian Era to the 2010s and provides a broad perspective on the trends in Latin American political history. The vast timeline as well as the 20 countries that make up Latin America means that the scope of the book is overly broad to be covered in a limited number of pages, but the accumulation of comparative political science research has opened up the possibility to do so.
Comparative politics is a discipline that seeks a systematic understanding of politics by comparing two or more places and periods. Specifically, it identifies the similarities and differences given certain criteria and then examines the reasons thereof. For example, an important concept in dealing with politics is democracy. Democracy is a system of running a state, and it is widely recognized as desirable in today's world. We can ask, then, what are the criteria for democracy, which countries have (or had) democracies, and why.
Research on democracy has progressed steadily, and it is now possible to compare countries with completely different places and circumstances, such as Japan 10 years ago and Argentina 100 years ago. In addition to democracy, previous research has revealed similarities and differences in basic aspects of political history, such as the military and economic policy. By incorporating the results of these studies, this book adopts the style of selecting notable examples and explaining them, while elucidating the conditions of Latin American countries in a regional context.
Latin American countries are culturally similar and are known to have a lot in common, such as achieving independence from European countries around the same time. Accordingly, Latin America has attracted much attention as a testing ground for comparative political science, allowing one to examine how similar countries have moved in various directions. This book also describes the diversity among Latin American countries, while attempting to be conscious of comparisons with countries and regions outside of Latin America. Japan is one of the countries in comparison.
Finally, a new feature that differs from previous books on the history of Latin American politics is a dedicated blog that summarizes data and information on the latest research related to the contents of this book. The aformentioned blog will be continually updated with interesting content on comparative political research toward stimulating interest in Latin America. We invite you to explore it.

(Written by MIYACHI Takahiro, Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences / 2023)

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