Howard J. Wiarda’s latinamericanization insight and U.S. politics

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Howard J. Wiarda insisted throughout his career that Latin American politics could best be understood in terms of a tradition of history, religious ideas, and political culture that was wholly distinct from that of the United States. But the one essay he wrote that directly examines U.S. domestic politics compares the political turmoil he witnessed to what was the norm in Latin America. The critiques of U.S. politics that he raised in this essay recurred often in his writings about U.S. foreign policy but did not appear in his comparative politics articles, which assumed a sharp distinction between U.S. and Latin American political culture. This article aims to critically engage with Wiarda’s provocative suggestion that U.S. politics were becoming Latinamericanized. Locating it within Wiarda’s understanding of distinct traditions and his informal methodological approach made it possible for him to offer an observation without making a rigorous examination or even insisting on a previous position in later writings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-663
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Howard J. Wiarda
  • Latinamericanization
  • Political culture
  • U.S. politics


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