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Makers of Democracy: A Transnational History of the Middle Classes in Colombia
by A. Ricardo López-Pedreros
Duke University Press, 2019
Cloth: 978-1-4780-0177-5 | Paper: 978-1-4780-0285-7 | eISBN: 978-1-4780-0329-8
Library of Congress Classification HT690.C6L67 2019

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In Makers of Democracy A. Ricardo López-Pedreros traces the ways in which a thriving middle class was understood to be a foundational marker of democracy in Colombia during the second half of the twentieth century. Drawing on a wide array of sources ranging from training manuals and oral histories to school and business archives, López-Pedreros shows how the Colombian middle class created a model of democracy based on free-market ideologies, private property rights, material inequality, and an emphasis on a masculine work culture. This model, which naturalized class and gender hierarchies, provided the groundwork for Colombia's later adoption of neoliberalism and inspired the emergence of alternate models of democracy and social hierarchies in the 1960s and 1970s that helped foment political radicalization. By highlighting the contested relationships between class, gender, economics, and politics, López-Pedreros theorizes democracy as a historically unstable practice that exacerbated multiple forms of domination, thereby prompting a rethinking of the formation of democracies throughout the Americas.

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