South America

South America is a land of revolución and political drama. From Colombia in the North to Argentina and Chile in the Southern extremities of the continent South America is one of the most unique landscapes in the world, but it has one of the most homogeneous ethnic cultures. Centuries of colonialism on behalf of the European powers, in particular the Spanish and Portuguese, has created a common culture and language that extends over nearly the whole region.

However, despite the continuous cultural characteristics of South America, politically it is an incredibly diverse region. Here military regimes have clashed with populist movements and freedom fighters with colonial governments. This is a continent where political passions stay at the surface and create one of the most vibrant political landscapes. Brazil, the region’s largest nation, is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies and an increasingly powerful political force. Their success is emphatic of a wider regional push for increased political and economic dominance in global politics, although some nations, such as Argentina and Venezuela, may have a bumpier road to economic prosperity.

From the Andean highs to the jungles of the Amazon this continent pulses with politics and in the modern world these politics will grow increasingly influential. South America is able to carve its own political course and although there will be some unique challenges it is also a continent of unique politics.

“The Admiral says that he never beheld so fair a thing: trees all along the river, beautiful and green, and different from ours, with flowers and fruits each according to their kind, many birds and little birds which sing very sweetly”.

Christopher Columbus, (1451-1506) Italian Explorer & Navigator

South America
Moll, Mermann, c.1715, “Map of South America”

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Argentina has been left reeling this week after a political scandal engulfed the government. Alberto Nisman, a renowned Argentinian lawyer, investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, was found dead last week. He had caused great controversy by arguing that the Argentinian government has continually covered up Iran’s involvement in the attack. Many believe that his death is not only suspicious but is likely to have been a politically motivated murder aiming to destabilise the case he was building against the government, or indeed to destabilise the government itself. Continue Reading

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Three nations are represented in the World Cup Final; Germany, Argentina and Brazil (as the hosts). But whilst the focus is firmly on the men on the pitch there are three women looking on, all of whom have a vested interest in success here. Continue Reading

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Is Venezuela on Rocky Ground?

Venezuela is on rocky ground. The nation’s stability is wearing increasingly thin and the protests show little sign of slowing down. The world is distracted by events elsewhere around the world and there is a risk that unless something changes we risk seeing another country descend into chaos whilst the international community stands by. Continue Reading

Rise of New Mega-Cities (Round 2): Capitals of Development – Brasilia and Hanoi

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Cities such as Mexico City, Jakarta or Shanghai are all global centres of a new world order, in which emerging markets come to dominate the global economy. However hot on the back of these huge mega-cities are rival urban centres competing for regional dominance and amongst the most important are Brasilia, Brazil and Hanoi, Vietnam. Continue Reading

About Peter Banham

Peter earned his MA in Geopolitics, Territory & Security at Kings College London in 2015, following a BA in History and International Relations from Lancaster University. He has been the editor and a major contributor to A Little View of the World since 2012 where he has written on global affairs, international relations, development and world conflicts.