Jeffrey R. Webber, The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American Left

Date01 January 2021
Published date01 January 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Review 119
body of literature in Chinese and English languages helps build an objective point
of view.
Having interpreted Chinese strategic behaviour, narrative construction and its
consequences by a discourse-based approach and a poststructuralist and
international relations perspective, the questions and arguments are elegantly
written and thematically organized, which strengthen the book’s content. The
book is well argued out in analysing how the Indian counter-narrative is turning
into the biggest hurdle to China’s attempt of establishing narrative dominance in
Asia, in pursuit of becoming a predominant regional and global power. As the
author rightly observes, the Modi–Xi Jinping ‘Wuhan Spirit’ and ‘Chennai
Connect’ summits were ineffective showpiece events. The book’s prediction that
the Chinese strategic expansion and perception of India as a barrier in their path
potentially makes BRI a source of confrontation in Asia stands correct in the
context of the current India–China border tensions.
While China is moving forward with its strategic motives in South and
Southeast Asian regions, the author has not addressed sufficiently the leverage
India has in challenging Chinese assertiveness, the efficacy of India’s connectivity
projects and foreign policy. The Chinese calculated assertion stems from the
realization that the influence of Western media discourse in the developing world
will create a negative view of BRI as a tool of Chinese hegemony or colonialism
or ‘resource imperialism’. The book justly concludes that the BRI has the potential
to create conflicts, but does not offer an alternative narrative regarding the effect
of India’s closeness to the US and other Quad members through the Indo-Pacific
strategy in the context of fast changing geopolitical dynamics.
The book contains rich information, observations and analyses to be a standard
reference for International Relations and area studies researchers as well as
policy makers.
K. B. Usha
Associate Professor, School of International Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, India
Jeffrey R. Webber, The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of
the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American
Left (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017), 328 pp., US$19.95, ISBN:
978-1-60846-745-7 (Hardcover).
DOI: 10.1177/0020881720982831
‘Another world is possible’, a slogan was raised at the 2005 World Social Forum
in Brazil in the backdrop of what the media dubs ‘pink tide’, which catapults Latin
America into the centre stage of left-wing politics in the Global South. The pink
tide played an important role in stabilizing democratic politics in the region long

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