Peru: Elite Power and Political Capture (Paperback)

Peru: Elite Power and Political Capture By John Crabtree, Francisco Durand Cover Image

Peru: Elite Power and Political Capture (Paperback)


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While leftist governments have been elected across Latin America, this Pink Tide, as it has been called, has so far failed to reach Peru. Instead, Peru represents a particularly stark example of state capture, in which an extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a few corporations and pro-market technocrats has resulted in a monopoly on political power. In the wake of the 2016 general election, John Crabtree and Francisco Durand provide a close look at the ways in which Peruvian elites have been able to consolidate their position at the expense of genuine democracy.
In their timely analysis, Crabtree and Durand offer a particular focus on the role of mining and other extractive industries, where extensive privatization and deregulation have contributed to extreme disparities in wealth and power. In the process, they provide a unique case study of state development, by revealing the mechanisms used by elites to dominate political discussion and marginalize their opponents, as well as the role played by external factors such as international financial institutions and foreign investors. The significance of their findings therefore extends far beyond Peru and illuminates the wider issue of why mineral-rich countries so often struggle to attain meaningful democracy.
John Crabtree is a research associate at the Latin American Studies Centre, University of Oxford, a Senior Member of Saint Antony’s College, Oxford. His previous works include Fractured Politics: Peruvian Democracy Past and Present and Bolivia: Processes of Change, the latter also published by Zed Books. Francisco Durand is a research associate at DESCO-Centro de Estudios de Promoción del Desarrollo and professor of politics at the Catholic University of Peru. His books include Business and Politics in Peru and Organized Business, Democracy and Economic Change.
Product Details ISBN: 9781783609031
ISBN-10: 1783609036
Publisher: Zed Books
Publication Date: May 15th, 2017
Pages: 256
Language: English
“A timely, thorough, and original volume. Their examination of why Peru has been a notable exception to Latin America’s move to the center-left and their insistence on what they term ‘elite capture’ as a necessary explanation make it required reading.”
— Henry Dietz, University of Texas at Austin (emeritus)

“An insightful and empirically rich work that makes sense of the Peruvian puzzle of economic growth contrasted with popular disaffection. This is a valuable resource for anybody interested in understanding how economic elites subvert democratic institutions in the region.”
— Peter Kingstone, King's College London

“The breadth and depth of this book are stunning. Crabtree and Durand are two of the world’s leading authorities on Peru’s political economy.”
— Cynthia McClintock, George Washington University

“In this learned, elegant and very readable study of Peru, Crabtree and Durand interrogate the scholarship on political capture as well as addressing the power of corporate interests, the machinations of the governing class, and the relative weakness of civil society.”
— Barrie Axford, Oxford Brookes University

“A comprehensive, historically-grounded, and theoretically sophisticated interpretation of Peru. At a time when Peru's political establishment is being rocked by the Odebrecht scandal, this book is essential reading.”
— Maxwell Cameron, University of British Columbia

“Cutting-edge research and rich insights. . . . A must read for those seeking to understand the deep inequities that plague Peru today.”
— Coletta Youngers, Senior Fellow, Washington Office on Latin America

“This book reveals in forensic detail the mechanisms used by elites to dominate political discussion to their benefit, and the key role played by international financial institutions and foreign investors.”
— New Internationalist

“An ambitious attempt to tackle a long-standing puzzle: What stopped Peru from joining the ‘Left turn’ in recent Latin American history?”
— Journal of Latin American Studies

"In their book Peru: Elite Power and Political Capture, John Crabtree and Francisco Durand rely on [a] powerful image to organize their discussion about elite power and political capture—namely Julio Cotler’s 'triangle without a base.'  [They] examine the changes Peru has undergone in recent decades and note that a significant shift occurred in the balance of power among social classes, as elite groups have gained 'formidable' power, due in part to 'the inability of excluded social groups to forge a unity of purpose' (3)."
— Latin American Research Review