Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Dr. Steve Ellner Stresses Context in Evaluating Social and Economic Programs in Chavista Venezuela

On October 21st, CIPR welcomed Dr. Steve Ellner, visiting professor and research fellow, to present his talk entitled: “Populism and Pragmatism in Chavista Venezuela: The Pluses and Minuses of Social and Economic Programs.” Dr. Ellner is an esteemed professor of economic history and political science at the Universidad de Oriente in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.

Dr. Ellner’s talk shed light on the evolution of Chavismo in Venezuela, with an emphasis on the origins of the economic problems currently facing Chavez’s successor Nicolás Maduro. As Dr. Ellner argues, Venezuela’s current economic climate is not simply the product of a downturn in global commodity prices, nor is it the result of Chavez’s inherently flawed socialist policies. Rather, it is the result of the complex interplay between the Chavez regime and his political opponents, and the pragmatic and populist policies that were borne out of this interaction.
A notable example of this process was the Chavez regime’s decision to grant preferential treatment to an emerging class of businesspeople who did not participate in the general strike of 2002-2003. Dr. Ellner argues that this decision was successful politically, but not economically, and that it led to widespread corruption, greatly contributing to Venezuela’s current economic problems.

Dr. Ellner’s work makes an important intervention in the study of Venezuela and 21st-century socialism in Latin America. Namely, he points out that social and economic policies must be considered in context, and the role of the opposition, particularly what he considered a disloyal opposition, must be taken into account when evaluating those policies.

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Online Summer Book Group for K-12 Educators

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For pre-service, early career and veteran teachers who love reading and learning through literature who want to explore award-winning books for the middle and early high school classrooms. Join us as we read four books that explore stories of coming-of-age from multiple perspectives. Participants will receive a copy of each book and participate in an open discussion with other K-12 educators. We will launch the book group with The Other Half of Happy. The group will meet online and explore the real story behind this award-winning book with the author Rebecca Balrcárcel. Join us this summer as we discover new stories and books for your classroom.

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Central America, People and the Environment Educator Institute 2021

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This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment.

While at Tulane, the institute will explore the historic connections between the United States and Central America focusing on indigenous communities and environment while highlighting topics of social justice and environmental conservation. Join us to explore Central America and teaching strategies to implement into the classroom.

Additional details and registration will be available in the late fall 2020. For more information, please email dwolteri@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164.