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The Politics of Exile in Latin America


  • Page extent: 384 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.67 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521517355)

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$129.00 (C)

The Politics of Exile in Latin America addresses exile as a major mechanism of institutional exclusion used by all types of governments in the region against their own citizens, while they often provided asylum to aliens fleeing persecution. The work is the first systematic analysis of Latin American exile on a continental and transnational basis and on a long-term perspective. It traces variations in the saliency of exile among different expelling and receiving countries; across different periods; with different paths of exile, both elite and massive; and under authoritarian and democratic contexts. The project integrates theoretical hindsight and empirical findings, analyzing the importance of exile as a recent and contemporary phenomenon, while reaching back to its origins and phases of development. It also addresses presidential exile, the formation of Latin American communities of exiles worldwide, and the role of exiles in shaping the collective identities of these countries.


1. Defining the Exilic Condition; 2. Forceful Displacement, the Construction of Collective Identities and State Formation; 3. The Format of Exile; 4. Sites of Exile; 5. Widening Exclusion and the Four-Tiered Structure of Exile; 6. Exile Communities, Activism and Politics; 7. Presidents in Exile; 8. Is Return the End of Exile?


The Politics of Exile in Latin America offers a wide-ranging and integrative comparative study of political translocation that has taken place from the early nineteenth century during the period of independence to the 1960s and 1970s when the continent was gripped by a series of authoritarian dictatorships that forced millions abroad. Sweeping in scope yet detailed in its examination of different periods in the history of political exile, the authors offer an original interpretation of the continuities and changes that occurred as dissidents and outsiders were forced to leave their countries. This comprehensive and qualitative study examines Latin America, including Brazil, and the Caribbean as a whole and offers historians, social scientists, and the interested reader the most insightful and inclusive overview of this subject to date.”
– James N. Green, Brown University

“The Sznajder- Roniger duo go from strength to strength. After their definitive Legacy of Human Rights Violations in Latin America they have now produced a work that lays the basis for a whole new area of inquiry – the study of political exile. Painting a vast and even enthralling canvas, they demonstrate with a wealth of detail, arresting narrative, and statistical analysis that exile has been a structural feature of Latin American politics ever since colonial times and that, far from being a footnote in the lives of politicians, it has been central to the evolution of political ideas and to the building of political careers. A remarkable achievement.”
– David Lehmann, Cambridge University

“This book shows how a familiar and commonplace image (the Latin American president who flees as protestors surge into his palace) can be converted from an anecdote into an empirically robust and theoretically well-grounded social-scientific general principle. In place of broad assertions about the ‘political culture’ of an entire subcontinent, it provides a sharply focused and historically informed analysis of one key regularity in the political behavior of national leaders across this large and diverse region. Exile politics offers an alternative to the gulag and to uncontrollable civil conflict. This pattern is deeply rooted in Latin America but almost entirely absent from the Anglophone world. It is recognized and taken into account by the entire political community and persists after democratization as well as under authoritarian rule. Professors Sznadjer and Roniger have made a real breakthrough in the study of comparative political behavior.”
– Lawrence Whitehead, Nuffield College, Oxford

"A wide-ranging and integrative comparative study, the work offers a thorough analytical and highly sophisticated treatment of the experiences of exiles and their impact both on the home nation and on the host country. With the redemocratization of Latin America, they question whether the use of exile will diminish and whether the case for the premise that exile represents a human rights violation will strengthen in the years ahead. A valuable, highly recommended book that belongs in most academic libraries."
CHOICE, J.A. Rhodes, Luther College

“The authors make sophisticated arguments about the transnational nature of Latin American politics and make a convincing case that exiles reconstitute themselves and act as a significant component of the body politic despite their enforced residence outside their country’s geographic borders. In this excellent book, it is clear that exiles provide an important source of funding for opposition movements at home and tend to have a prominent advocacy role that affects public opinion in their host countries. It is a densely documented, expansive book that will be invaluable for students of contemporary Latin American politics, sociology, and related interdisciplinary fields.” -Karen Racine, University of Guelph, Hispanic American Historical Review

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