LAC Main Seminar Series: Oligarchy in the Americas: Comparing Oligarchic Rule in Latin America and the United States

Convener: Professor David Doyle

Speaker: Joe Foweraker, St Antony’s and University of Oxford (Emeritus)

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The talk will explore the continuity of oligarchic rule in the Americas of the modern period, with a focus on the variable compatibility of oligarchic rule and democratic government. This focus sets the terms for a comparative inquiry that creates a novel perspective on the politics of Latin America and the United States alike. The continuity depends on the formation of a patrimonial State and a porous division between oligarchic interests and the public sphere of democratic politics; but it also depends on a capacity to adapt and change, and these changes are marked by successive and distinctive modes of rule in both Latin America and the United States. After describing and comparing these modes of rule, the talk will focus on the recent and remarkable convergence of oligarchic rule in the Americas.