Political Exile in Latin America
- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 13 January 2014
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0147
- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 13 January 2014
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0147
Since independence, political exile—as both expulsion and expatriation—has been a major mechanism of exclusion widely used and abused by Latin American states. Resulting from political persecution but stopping short of annihilating the opposition, exile represents a pattern of politics built upon exclusion. While rooted in colonial practices, its recurrent use after independence has contributed to reinforcing the exclusionary rules of political systems. In the 20th century, a major transformation occurred in the structure of exile, when it transformed from a selective mechanism mostly involving political, social, and cultural elites into a mass phenomenon, correlated with the democratization of politics and the opening of public spheres to sectarian political participation. In this latter stage, the international and transnational arenas also became increasingly prominent. The recurrent use of exile reflects ongoing challenges to the structure of power in exclusionary political systems and limited democracies. States have expelled their own citizens and residents while simultaneously providing sites of asylum for persecuted individuals of other lands. This Janus-face of states, which adopt selective and often disparate policies of displacement and asylum, constitutes a challenging domain of research into the relationships of state politics and civil society in the Americas. The contradictory nature of the policies of asylum and exclusion has prompted analyses both at the level of institutional strategies and in terms of the challenges that migratory processes pose to the reshaping of collective identities and competitiveness over access to resources. An equally fascinating and still largely uncharted area of research is that of the partial return of exiles. The many facets of exile have prompted multidisciplinary approaches to this phenomenon; there are studies that stress exile as a political and sociological phenomenon, while others tackle it from psychological, anthropological, and cultural perspectives of discussion.
Political exile, a major political practice in some of these societies and historical periods, is still an under-researched topic. While ubiquitous and fascinating, until recently—with only minor exceptions (Caldwell 1943, Johnson 1951, Tabori 1972)—it was conceived as somewhat marginal for the development of these societies and studied in the framework of traditional concepts and concerns in history, law, and the social sciences, as in Luna 1962. More recently, theoretical developments have been prompted in connection with new concepts and paradigms. Thus, in the 1980s and 1990s scientists working in comparative politics and political theory—respectively, Shain 1989 and Shklar 1998—made major contributions from the perspective of shaken state loyalties and reconstructed commitments; and in the 1990s and 2000s we find attempts, such as Safran 1991 and Sheffer 2003, at analytical systematization closely connected with transnationalism and diaspora studies, addressing Latin America partially or approaching it comprehensively. The latter works will be singled out later on (see Recent Collective Works and Panoramic Studies).
Caldwell, Robert G. “Exile as an Institution.” Political Science Quarterly 58.2 (1943): 239–262.
Caldwell underscores the longstanding importance of exile as a Latin American political institution, tracing the origins of the institutionalization of exile both to classical philosophers who advocated banishment and to preexisting Spanish legal codes that institutionalized exclusion. Classical antiquity and philosophy, thus, sought to legitimize what was already in existence. Colonization further institutionalized exile, often incorporated into the penal codes of states.
Johnson, John J. “Foreign Factors in Dictatorship in Latin America.” Pacific Historical Review 20.2 (1951): 127–141.
This study analyzes the genesis of caudillo politics in Hispanic America and sees asylum and exile as stemming from the rigid caste system and the will to reach “a cooling of tempers,” while representing clemency and leniency. Caudillos used the real or imaginary threat of the opposition across the border to justify a concentration of powers and militarization. It has been partially reprinted in Hugh M. Hamill, ed. Caudillos: Dictators in Latin America (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992, pp. 195–202).
Luna, David Alejandro. El asilo político. San Salvador, El Salvador: Editorial Universitaria, 1962.
This is a historical-juridical analysis of the figure of political asylum, anchored in natural rights and their positive elaboration; tracing its historical bases to antiquity and its development as territorial asylum and later on as diplomatic asylum.
Safran, William. “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return.” Diasporas 1.1 (1991): 83–99.
Safran stresses the necessary qualifications for a dispersed network of minorities to be a diaspora. According to Safran, exile/expatriation and the subsequent collective consciousness orientated to a real or mythical place of origin are basic traits, leading to his determination that Hispanic or Latino communities in the United States, particularly the Mexicans, hardly qualify, while the Cubans are part of a diaspora.
Shain, Yossi. The Frontier of Loyalty: Political Exiles in the Age of the Nation-States. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1989.
This book suggests that exiles move the frontier of loyalty abroad upon interacting with their countrymen in the diaspora and impacting home and host societies. Shain examines exiles’ attempts to mobilize their compatriots abroad; their relations with the internal opposition to the home regime; the interaction between political exiles and the international community; and the home regime’s responses to the challenges that exiles represent.
Sheffer, Gabriel. Diaspora Politics: At Home and Abroad. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Sheffer argues that diaspora dates from antiquity, further outlining how diasporas attempt to assimilate into their host countries while simultaneously maintaining close ties with the homeland. Discussing a wide variety of ethno-national diasporas, from Mexicans in the United States to the Portuguese in France, the author presents their commonalities, including formation processes and their often-tense relationships with their home and host countries.
Shklar, Judith. “Obligation, Loyalty and Exile: The Bonds of Exile.” In Political Thought and Political Thinkers. Edited by Judith Shklar and Stanley Hoffman, 38–72. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Shklar analyzes exile in terms of the severed political obligations of governments towards citizens, and the parallel ties of loyalty, fidelity, and allegiance that exiles may carry out abroad. These posthumous papers suggest a research program on the public implications of exile, indicating that its singularity derives from the existential reflexivity and shattered political obligations of those expelled by their governments.
Tabori, Paul. The Anatomy of Exile: A Semantic and Historical Study. London: Harrap, 1972.
This is an encyclopedic historical and semantic study of the forms and conceptions of exile by a Hungarian émigré and intellectual, who wrote it not for the expert or the academic, but rather to bring public attention to the deep historical and cultural breadth of the phenomenon and its multiple manifestations that make any attempt at clear-cut identification so difficult.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
- Agricultural Technologies
- Ancient Andean Textiles
- Andean Contributions to Rethinking the State and the Natio...
- Andean Music
- Antislavery Narratives
- Arab Diaspora in Brazil, The
- Arab Diaspora in Latin America, The
- Argentina in the Era of Mass Immigration
- Argentina, Slavery in
- Argentine Literature
- Army of Chile in the 19th Century
- Asian Art and Its Impact in the Americas, 1565–1840
- Asian-Peruvian Literature
- Atlantic Creoles
- Baroque and Neo-baroque Literary Tradition
- Beauty in Latin America
- Bello, Andrés
- Black Experience in Colonial Latin America, The
- Black Experience in Modern Latin America, The
- Borderlands in Latin America, Conquest of
- Bourbon Reforms, The
- Brazilian Northeast, History of the
- Buenos Aires
- California Missions, The
- Caribbean Philosophical Association, The
- Caribbean, The Archaeology of the
- Cartagena de Indias
- Caste War of Yucatán, The
- Caudillos, 19th Century
- Cádiz Constitution and Liberalism, The
- Chaco War
- Children, History of
- Chile's Struggle for Independence
- Chronicle, The
- Church in Colonial Latin America, The
- Chávez, Hugo, and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela
- Cinema, Contemporary Brazilian
- Cinema, Latin American
- Colonial Central America
- Colonial Latin America, Crime and Punishment in
- Colonial Latin America, Pilgrimage in
- Colonial Legal History of Peru
- Colonial New Granada
- Colonial Portuguese Amazon Region, from the 17th to 18th C...
- Contemporary Maya, The
- Cortés, Hernán
- Costa Rica
- Cárdenas and Cardenismo
- Cuban Revolution, The
- de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando
- Dependency Theory in Latin American History
- Development of Architecture in New Spain, 1500–1810, The
- Development of Painting in Peru, 1520–1820, The
- Drug Trades in Latin America
- Dutch in South America and the Caribbean, The
- Early Colonial Forms of Native Expression in Mexico and Pe...
- Economies from Independence to Industrialization
- Ecuador, La Generación del 30 in
- Education in New Spain
- El Salvador
- Enlightenment and its Visual Manifestations in Spanish Ame...
- Environmental History
- Era of Porfirio Díaz, 1876–1911, The
- Family History
- Film, Science Fiction
- Football (Soccer) in Latin America
- Franciscans in Colonial Latin America
- From "National Culture" to the "National Popular" and the ...
- Gaucho Literature
- Gender in Colonial Brazil
- Gender in Postcolonial Latin America
- Guaraní and Their Legacy, The
- Guatemala and Yucatan, Conquest of
- Guatemala City
- Guatemala (Colonial Period)
- Guatemala (Modern & National Period)
- Haitian Revolution, The
- Health and Disease in Modern Latin America, History of
- History, Cultural
- History, Food
- Honor in Latin America to 1900
- Horror in Literature and Film in Latin America
- Human Rights in Latin America
- Immigration in Latin America
- Indigenous Elites in the Colonial Andes
- Indigenous Population and Justice System in Central Mexico...
- Indigenous Voices in Literature
- Japanese Presence in Latin America
- Jewish Presence in Latin America, The
- José María Arguedas and Early 21st Century Cultural and Po...
- Las Casas, Bartolomé de
- Latin American Independence
- Latin American Theater and Performance
- Latin American Urbanism, 1850-1950
- Law and Society in Latin America since 1800
- Legal History of New Spain, 16th-17th Centuries
- Legal History of the State and Church in 18th Century New ...
- Literature, Argentinian
- Machado de Assis
- Magical Realism
- Maroon Societies in Latin America
- Martí, José, and Cuba
- Mestizaje and the Legacy of José María Arguedas
- Mexican Nationalism
- Mexican Revolution, 1910–1940, The
- Mexican-US Relations
- Mexico, Conquest of
- Mexico, Education in
- Migration to the United States
- Military and Modern Latin America, The
- Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990
- Military Institution in Colonial Latin America, The
- Modern Decorative Arts and Design, 1900–2000
- Modern Populism in Latin America
- Modernity and Decoloniality
- Musical Tradition in Latin America, The
- Native Presence in Postconquest Central Peru
- New Conquest History and the New Philology in Colonial Mes...
- New Left in Latin America, The
- Novel, Chronology of the Venezuelan
- Novel of the Mexican Revolution, The
- Novel, 19th Century Haitian
- Novel, The Colombian
- Oaxaca, Conquest and Colonial
- Painting in New Spain, 1521–1820
- Paraguayan War (War of the Triple Alliance)
- Pastoralism in the Andes
- Paz, Octavio
- Perón and Peronism
- Peru, Colonial
- Peru, Conquest of
- Peru, Slavery in
- Philippines Under Spanish Rule, 1571-1898
- Photography in the History of Race and Nation
- Political Exile in Latin America
- Ponce de León
- Popular Culture and Globalization
- Popular Movements in 19th-Century Latin America
- Post Conquest Aztecs
- Post-Conquest Demographic Collapse
- Poverty in Latin America
- Preconquest Incas
- Pre-conquest Mesoamerican States, The
- Pre-Revolutionary Mexico, State and Nation Formation in
- Printing and the Book
- Prints and the Circulation of Colonial Images
- Protestantism in Latin America
- Puerto Rican Literature
- Religions in Latin America
- Revolution and Reaction in Central America
- Rosas, Juan Manuel de
- Sandinista Revolution and the FSLN, The
- Santo Domingo
- Science and Empire in the Iberian Atlantic
- Science and Technology in Modern Latin America
- Sexualities in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Slavery in Brazil
- São Paulo
- South American Missions
- Spanish American Arab Literature
- Spanish and Portuguese Trade, 1500–1750
- Spanish Caribbean In The Colonial Period, The
- Spanish Colonial Decorative Arts, 1500-1825
- Spanish Florida
- Spiritual Conquest of Latin America, The
- Sports in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Telenovelas and Melodrama in Latin America
- Textile Traditions of the Andes
- 19th Century and Modernismo Poetry in Spanish America
- 16th-Century New Spain
- Transculturation and Literature
- Trujillo, Rafael
- Tupac Amaru Rebellion, The
- United States and Castro's Cuba in the Cold War, The
- United States and the Guatemalan Revolution, The
- United States Invasion of the Dominican Republic, 1961–196...
- Urban History
- Urbanization in the 20th Century, Latin America’s
- U.S.-Latin American Relations During the Cold War
- Vargas, Getúlio
- Venezuelan Literature
- Women and Labor in 20th-Century Latin America
- Women in Colonial Latin American History
- Women in Modern Latin American History
- Women's Property Rights, Asset Ownership, and Wealth in La...
- Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas