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Understanding ALBA: Progress, Problems, and Prospects of Alternative Regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean

This collection analyses the impact and influence of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), whose vision of alternative regionalism has spearheaded Latin America and the Caribbean’s collective challenge to neoliberal globalisation in the twenty-first century. The volume’s comprehensive coverage incorporates insights from the domestic level in Nicaragua, the Anglophone Caribbean, and especially Venezuela, while also exploring ALBA’s key regional economic and social-policy initiatives and its place in the wider international relations of Latin American and the Caribbean. Moving beyond normative debates about the project’s desirability and descriptive accounts of its initiatives, this volume provides critical analyses that consider equally ALBA’s progress, problems, and prospects. In tackling many of the key questions about the past and future of ALBA it reveals a frequently misunderstood organisation whose impacts have been significant but whose failings also jeopardise the project’s long-term sustainability. This timely volume helps us to understand the dynamics shaping the region at a time when its global relevance has never been greater.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: ALBA from dawn to dusk? Asa K. Cusack Part I 2. Self-awareness and critique: an overview of ALBA research Christopher David Absell 3. ALBA and the fourth wave of regionalism in Latin America Olivier Dabène Part II 4. A very Latin American social policy: ALBA, counter-hegemonic regionalism, and ‘living well’ Kepa Artaraz 5. The first five years of the SUCRE: successes and limitations of ALBA’s regional virtual currency Stephanie Pearce Part III 6. ALBA in Nicaragua: political, economic and development implications Gloria Carrión 7. Pragmatism left, right, and centre? Revisiting ALBA accession in the Eastern Caribbean Asa K. Cusack Part IV 8. Venezuela, ALBA, and the Communal Economic System Helen Yaffe 9. From magical state to magical region? Ecology, labour and socialism in ALBA Rowan Lubbock 10. Venezuela in crisis: how sustainable is its support for ALBA? José Manuel Puente Part V 11. Progress, problems, and prospects of ALBA’s alternative regionalism Asa K. Cusack

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