AUTHOR

Greg Weeks

The Eternal Latin American Military

It was just about a generation ago that studying civil-military relations was a hot topic. It's what I did in Chile and plenty of others were doing the same around the region. Most, like me, shifted to over topics over time (David Pion-Berlin is a notable exception--he's been studying this forever). By the mid-2000s or so, people tended to return to ignoring the role of the armed forces, deeming them as just another political actor (defending its bureaucratic interests) in an...

What is a Coup, Anyway?

The word "coup" is now used to mean almost everything. Donald Trump even uses it to describe an entirely constitutional investigation. Evo Morales uses it when talking about the opposition complaining about an unplanned and unexplained stoppage of vote counting. Nicolás Maduro uses it, and he's actually right. It's bandied about all the time.

Andrés Malamud amd Leiv Marsteintredet have done a study--a forthcoming academic article in Political Studies that you can see...

Podcast Episode 68: Understanding the Bolivian Crisis

On Episode 68 of Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast, I talk with Miguel Centellas, who is Croft Instructional Associate Professor of Sociology & International Studies at The University of Mississippi. He does research on Bolivian politics, electoral politics, and measuring democracy as well. He was on the podcast way back in December 2016. At that point, Evo Morales had decided to run despite the failed referendum. This time we discuss the current crisis,...

New Articles on Latin America

The Latin Americanist, Volume 63-3, September 2019, is now live through Project MUSE.

Articles in this issue:

·         Galia Benitez, Mapping Colombia’s Counternarcotic Networks: Latin America Increase Partnerships

This paper aims to explain the emergence of an antinarcotics network operating between Colombia and several other Latin American and Caribbean countries. This paper first maps out Colombia's antinarcotics deep collaboration,...

Podcast Episode 67: China & Venezuela

In Episode 67 of Understanding Latin American Politics: The Podcast, I talk with Jason Marczak,  Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council. He’s been active in studying Latin America for a long time, previously with the Americas Society and Council for the Americas. Yesterday the council hosted an event “China, Oil, and Venezuela: Myths, Reality, and the Future.” (Here is the link to video of that event) In particular,...

Russia Goes All In On Maduro

I recently talked to Jason Marczak about China's role in Venezuela, which along with Russia is Nicolás Maduro's lifeline. What we're seeing, though, is that ideology and rivalry is showing the clear differences between the two countries' approaches. China is the pragmatic one, looking for return on investment, not wanting to throw good money after bad. Rivalry with the U.S. doesn't make that worth it.

Russia, on the other hand, is literally showering the government with...

Dealing With Double Standards

Steve Ellner and Teri Mattson have a piece in Jacobin making what I would consider the uncontroversial point that the Trump administration has a double standard with Venezuela vs. Honduras. Honduras is run by a deeply corrupt elite tied to drug trafficking and that's pretty much OK for the United States.

Double standards are worth pointing out to the general public, and in fact it is even more useful if you explain that they are a permanent fixture of U.S. foreign policy...

Sorting Out the Chilean Protests

The social and political explosion in Chile seems on the one hand to be so simple. Academics and activists have been arguing for a long time that the economic model generates inequality, and the political parties have been in disfavor for quite a while.

Lucas Perelló notes that Chile is unequal, economic elites are grabbing whatever they can, and the political establishment doesn't care. Patricio Navia points to "high dependence on copper, high levels of inequality and an...

Politicizing the Latin American Military

Javier Corrales has an article in Americas Quarterly warning that the political use of the military that we're seeing around Latin America will not lead anywhere good. I agree. However, I think we need to shift the argument a bit.
Latin America used to be known as the land of the military junta. It is now at risk of becoming the land of militarized democracies.  
I would argue that it already is, and has been. I studied civil-military relations extensively at the...

Joshua Davis Talk

Joshua Davis wrote Spare Parts, which I reviewed last year and which became the common reading for the university this year. As chair of the Common Reading Committee, I had the pleasure of having dinner with him and seeing him give a talk on campus this past week (big crowd, 700ish). He's very engaging, and had a message for students about how your career is not a linear thing. He told a great story about how on a lark he went to an arm wrestling competition to watch and was encouraged...