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Research Projects

FY 2007/2008 Research Topic: 4-09
Leftist Latin American Governments: Their Backgrounds and Policies


In comparison to the 1990s, when most Latin American countries carried out neo-liberal reforms, after the beginning of the 21st century, there emerged leftist governments in this region, including the Kirchiner administration in Argentina, Lula administration in Brazil, Bacheret administration in Chile, Alan Garcia administration in Peru, Morales administration in Bolivia, Alias administration in Costa Rica, Correa administration in Ecuador, and Chavez administration in Venezuela.

These leftist governments all promised to solve social problems such as poverty and unemployment, which were not resolved by neo-liberal reforms. However, there seem to be major differences in their policies in terms of foreign capital, market functions and foreign policy especially to the United Sates among these governments.

The purposes of this project are to clarify the tendencies of the policies adopted by these governments and the background of each leftist government. We will focus on the following four points in our studies:

(1) the background of each leftist government. There are two origins of the Latin American left: populist origins and socialist origins.

(2) the characteristics of their economic policies. Some leftist governments promise to respect the market mechanism, while other leftist governments prefer to intervene in the market.

(3) foreign policy toward the United States. Among the leftist governments in Latin America, we can see a clear anti-U.S. attitude by the Chavez administration of Venezuela.

(4) We need to observe the future of Cuba, which is now making alliances with anti-U.S. leftist governments.


April 2006 - March 2008


USAMI Koichi

Members of the Research Project

USAMI Koichi
KONTA Ryohei
UETANI Naokatsu
OSONOI Shigeo (Professor, Tsukuba University)
MARUOKA Yasushi (Associate Professor, Ishinomaki Senshu University)