Latin America, right, elites, networks, social power, neoliberalism, inequality
Work on the Latin American right mainly assumes it as a political phenomenon, despite recognition that it emerges from, and can be supplanted by, groups of actors from within and across business, the media, in the intellectual sphere and indeed in the military. A broader approach is provided here to help integrate these (f)actors, using Michael Mann’s work on social power and Nancy Fraser’s concepts of progressive and reactionary neoliberalism. It is argued that elites from these sectors, espousing neoliberalism, and supported by powerful transnational elites with similar views, dominate the areas of ideology, economics, military and politics in order to install, maintain, extend and naturalise neoliberalism in the region. This dominance has been challenged from the left and indeed from the right, resulting in at minimum progressive and reactionary forms of neoliberalism centred on inequalities of recognition. Nevertheless, the range and depth of possible change, particularly in stalling and reversing distributive inequality, may be limited due to the embeddedness of neoliberalism in national, regional and transnational governance systems.