Now available in paperback!
One of Foreign Affairs Best Books of 2016!
“This book is an excellent contribution to our understanding of US–Latin American relations and an important read for anyone interested in this area.”
Latin America Confronts the United States: Asymmetry and Influence (Cambridge University Press, 2015) is now available in paperback and hardcover through Cambridge and Amazon. You can also get it for Kindle at Amazon, including the first chapter for free! It is available at hundreds of libraries worldwide, so check for it or ask your library to add a copy to its collection.
Drawing on research in six countries, the book examines how Latin American leaders are able to overcome power asymmetries to influence US foreign policy. The book provides in-depth explorations of key moments in post-World War II inter-American relations – foreign economic policy before the Alliance for Progress, the negotiation of the Panama Canal Treaties, the expansion of trade through NAFTA, and the growth of counternarcotics in Plan Colombia. The new evidence challenges earlier, US-centric explanations of these momentous events. Though differences in power were fundamental to each of these cases, relative weakness did not prevent Latin American leaders from aggressively pursuing their interests vis-à-vis the United States. Drawing on studies of foreign policy and international relations, the book examines how Latin American leaders achieved this influence – and why they sometimes failed.
Featured in Foreign Affairs “The Best of Books 2016”!
“Long’s insight is that small does not always mean weak or cowardly. Given how often the United States is assumed to control all destinies in its geopolitical backyard, this tail-wagging-the-dog narrative provides ample reason to reconsider the conventional wisdom of US hegemony in Latin America.”
-Russell Crandall in Survival
“Long joins a growing list of scholars who have challenged the deeply held assumption that hegemonic U.S. power has left little space for Latin American countries to take the initiative in their relationships with Washington. He demonstrates that in fact, when dealing with the United States, capable Latin American leaders have not only successfully defended their interests but also astutely intervened in U.S. domestic politics to alter the way that Washington defines and pursues its interests in the region.”
-Richard Feinberg in Foreign Affairs
“Making extensive use of archival sources in and outside the US, as well as in-depth elite interviews with key protagonists across the hemisphere, Long convincingly argues not only that the US did not always get its own way, but also that it is possible for presumably powerless countries in the region to move US policy. … This book is an excellent contribution to our understanding of US–Latin American relations and an important read for anyone interested in this area.”
-Sean Burges, International Affairs
“[T]he book provides a fresh look at a discussion that is often dominated by Latin American worries about US intervention, with little attention paid to ways for Latin America to exercise influence in the United States. .. Long’s book thus provides an important analysis for Latin American scholars, but also for those studying regional dynamics elsewhere, for example in Asia, where China’s growing influence is an ever more important topic.”
-Oliver Stuenkel, International Journal
“[Latin America Confronts the United States] is based on some excellent fieldwork, with extensive archival research and interviews with key participants. So beyond the analysis itself, it’s an interesting read.”
-Gregory Weeks, Two Weeks Notice
“Tom Long’s valuable study contributes to this endeavour, by exploring how Latin American countries have used a diverse toolbox of strategies to influence the outcomes of US foreign policy. This is a perspective that fits more naturally with the institutionalist position within international relations in which smaller, weaker states are able to inflate their power in a context of multilateral institutions. What makes it so interesting, however, is that the case studies employed by Long as evidence refer equally to the era in which the Cold War exaggerated US power as to what came next.”
-Gavin O’Toole, Latin American Review of Books
About the Author
Tom Long is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He has recently been named a 2017-2018 Fulbright Scholar for Chile. In 2014-2015, Long was a visiting professor in International Relations at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico City. Previously, he taught at American University’s School of International Service. In August 2016, he was a visiting fellow at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro. His research explores U.S.-Latin American relations, U.S. and Latin American foreign policies, and the dynamics of asymmetrical relationships in world politics. His articles have appeared or are forthcoming in International Security, International Studies Review, Diplomatic History, International Politics, Latin American Research Review, The Latin Americanist, and Foro Internacional. He has also written for the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, The National Interest, the Orlando Sentinel, Latin America Goes Global, War on the Rocks, AULAblog.net, and El Universal (Mexico), and frequently discusses inter-American relations and Latin American politics with international press, TV, radio, and online outlets.