Sneha Girap (Editor)

Ronald H Chilcote

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Nationality  American
Name  Ronald Chilcote

Alma mater  Stanford University
Fields  Political Science
Born  February 20, 1935 (age 80) Cleveland, Ohio (1935-02-20)
Institutions  University of California, Riverside
Institution  University of California, Riverside
Books  Theories of comparative politics, The Portuguese Revolutio, Comparative Inquiry in Politics a, Power and the Ruling Classes i, The Political Economy

Ronald H. Chilcote (born February 20, 1935) is Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Riverside, and has served as Managing Editor of the academic journal Latin American Perspectives since its founding in 1974. Chilcote is known for his scholarship on Brazil, Portugal, and the former Portuguese colonies in Africa as well as for his work on comparative politics and political economy and development theory.


Background and education

Chilcote came from an upper-middle-class Republican family that owned a small business in Cleveland, Ohio, that manufactured photo mounts. Following family tradition, Chilcote attended Dartmouth College where he was introduced to progressive thought during his senior year as a member of the English poetry circle, dedicated to encouraging promising writers, led by Richard Eberhart. Through Eberhart’s seminar, he met Richard Wilbur (then at Smith College), Donald Hall, and Robert Frost, and later, at Stanford, he attended the literature courses of Yvor Winters and Wallace Stegner.

After returning from an extended stay in Europe, he enrolled in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, received an M.B.A., and experienced an unexpectedly radicalizing period when he was funded to conduct a study of U.S. business in Guatemala and Chile, hitchhiked through other countries, and even visited Cuba on the eve of the Cuban Revolution. Exposure to Latin America’s extreme inequality led him to Ronald Hilton’s M. A. program in at Stanford and then into a Ph.D. program in political economy, including studies with Paul Baran. His interest in the roots of Latin American poverty shaped his long-term research agenda, beginning with a doctoral dissertation on Spain and continuing with a book on Portugal and the Portuguese colonies in Africa. This work occurred under the fascist regimes of Francisco Franco in Spain and António de Oliveira Salazar in Portugal, and it included a research trip to the then-Portuguese colony of Angola where he was arrested by the Portuguese secret police in Luanda and held prisoner and interrogated for ten days. Denied the possibility of returning to Portugal, he refocused his research on Brazil, especially the high poverty Northeast.

He and Frances Bunker Chilcote have been married since 1961 and they have two sons, Edward and Stephen.


Chilcote taught in the Departments of Economics and Political Science at the University of California Riverside (UCR) from 1964 to 1994 where he was honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award. Since 1994, he has been Professor Emeritus. With a Ford Foundation grant he headed up the Latin American Research Program at UCR during the 1960s. He was a founder of the Latin American Studies major, served as Director of the Program on Latin American Studies for over 15 years, and as Professor Emeritus continues to serve on the Latin American Studies Steering Committee. He also established the UC Brazil Studies Center in Rio de Janeiro and served as its Director from 1992-1994.

His role in graduate education included starting a graduate program in comparative political economy and chairing 40 dissertation committees and serving on an additional 24 for Ph.D. degrees awarded at UCR, UCLA, Rutgers, SUNY, and other universities. He also provided opportunities for graduate students to develop professional writing, editing, and reviewing skills as Latin American Perspectives interns.

Journal Editorship: Latin American Perspectives

Chilcote was a founder of the academic journal Latin American Perspectives(LAP) which was launched in 1974 as a new scholarly space to bring together academics and other intellectuals, both within and outside Latin America, for critical theoretical and empirical work on cutting-edge topics that had few academic outlets in the United States at that time. It was organized as an independent editorial collective, with Chilcote serving as the elected Managing Editor from its founding to the present. It emphasized scholarship that analyzes national and transnational systems of power and the movements for structural transformation, social justice and human rights in Latin America. The founders highlighted the importance of political economy and opened its pages to a range of approaches, including Marxism. They were committed to LAP addressing significant theoretical debates and to bringing the work of Latin American scholars to an English-speaking readership, including translating Spanish and Portuguese manuscripts.

This thrust was evident in LAP’s first issue, which focused on the debates within dependency theory in Latin America, with a lead article by Chilcote, “Dependency: A Critical Synthesis of the Literature” and contributions from leading Latin American theorists. Subsequently, (LAP, Summer-Fall 1981), he considered the relationship of dependency and Marxism. A consistent proponent of class analysis, Chilcote critiqued the neo-Marxist and postmodernist theoretical currents that developed as approaches to new social movements, as expressed in his lead article in LAP’s 1990 thematic issue on “Post-Marxism, the Left, and Democracy.” Since the setbacks for Latin American revolutionary movements and the collapse of the Soviet Union, journal content reflected the shift toward critical analysis of the ascendant Washington Consensus around neoliberalism and the resistance to it by social movements. LAP approached neoliberal globalization from the perspective of imperialism and class analysis as illustrated by Chilcote’s article “Globalization or Imperialism?” in the November 2002 issue.

Under Chilcote’s leadership, the LAP editorial collective engaged in internal discussion of topics such as the significance of the Cuban Revolution on its fiftieth anniversary and President Obama’s Latin American policy and published the resulting statements in the journal in January 2009 and July 2011 respectively. The latter was part of a broader Obama Initiative that included a featured session chaired by Chilcote at the Latin American Studies Association Congress in Toronto in 2010 and resolutions on Obama’s policy and Cuba submitted by LAP editors.

Latin American Perspectives Book Series

Chilcote currently edits the Latin American Perspectives in the Classroom and Critical Currents book series for Rowman and Littlefield. The Classroom series introduces students in the social sciences and Latin American studies to important themes and issues about Latin America that have appeared in the journal. The nine books in the series contain articles edited to be accessible to nonspecialists. Each text includes both general and section introductions to contextualize the concepts and topics that follow.

The Critical Currents series emphasizes examination of the institutional, political, economic, and social forces that are shaping contemporary Latin America, considered in a context of current theoretical issues and debates. The 13 books in the series are intended for scholars, advanced students, and general readers alike.

Chilcote previously edited Latin American Perspectives Monographs with 24 titles for Westview Press (1980-2000).

Scholarly research and writing

Chilcote is the author of over 200 academic publications, including books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles, with emphasis on comparative politics, political economy, and development economics. He was one of the earliest U.S. scholars to assess Latin American dependency theory, as in his lead article in the first issue of Latin American Perspectives, “Dependency: A Critical Synthesis of the Literature.” He also edited and/or contributed to several additional LAP issues on the subject. His work on dependency includes the book, Latin America: The Struggle with Dependency and Beyond (1974), edited with his student and colleague Joel Edelstein, which was extensively used as a college text and went through eight printings. His Theories of Comparative Politics was for two decades a leading book for advanced graduate study in the United States and elsewhere, and he wrote two major books on comparative political economy as well as an anthology of retrospective essays on imperialism.

Chilcote is recognized for his scholarship on Brazil, Portugal, and the former Portuguese colonies in Africa, all of which he has visited extensively in the course of his research. His pioneering work on Lusophone Africa during the 1960s provided a foundation for an African perspective critical of the Portuguese presence in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde. He published a book on the African revolutionary, Amílcar Cabral, who inspired and led the independence movements. He has written four major books on Brazil, three of them translated and appearing in Portuguese. His 2010 book The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy culminates decades of research to analyze the 1974–1975 Portuguese revolution and its aftermath through periods of authoritarianism and resistance as well as representative and popular democracy. His 2014 book Intellectuals and the Search for National Identity in Twentieth Century Brazil likewise draws on his decades of research in Brazil and the relationships he developed with Brazilian intellectuals, more than one hundred of whom were interviewed for the book.

His work has appeared in Brazilian, Malaysian, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Iranian editions.

For his scholarship, Chilcote received three Fulbright awards, two Social Science Research Council grants, Organization of American States and Mellon-SOCCIS Latin American Fellowships, and Rockefeller and Ford Foundation grants.

Ronald H. Chilcote Collection

Chilcote donated more than 12,000 books and other research materials to the UCR library to establish the Ronald H. Chilcote collection on the politics, economy, and history of Latin America, Portugal, and Portuguese-speaking Africa. Highlights include rare books and periodicals on Brazilian left movements; approximately four thousand literary pamphlets of social poetry, drawn from the singing and writing of troubadours (Cordel); books, ephemera, and research, including written and audio interviews, on Northeast Brazil, in particular its hinterland or sertão; books and pamphlets on the Portuguese revolution of 1974-1975 and its aftermath, including audio interviews and transcripts with participants; comprehensive writings by and about the revolutionary, Amílcar Cabral; pamphlets, leaflets, films, and newspaper clippings on Central American political and resistance movements as well as covert and overt cases of intervention in Latin America; audio cassettes, videotapes, and books on the Iran-Contra Affair; and materials on the Southern Cone, especially Chile.

Latin American Perspectives archives

In 2000, Chilcote placed the complete archives of Latin American Perspectives, including all manuscripts submitted, publication decisions, editorial board minutes, annual reports and other working documents, in the UCR Library and recruited additional donations from other scholars.

Latin American Perspectives Visiting Scholar Fellowship

To facilitate use of all these materials and other Latin American resources at the UCR library, Chilcote led the effort to establish an endowment to fund the Latin American Perspectives Visiting Scholar Fellowship to bring scholars from outside the United States to the library for a research residency of several weeks to two months. Since 2007 there have been six recipients.

Photography and environmental activism

An active environmentalist, Chilcote has also been deeply involved in conservation and wilderness protection campaigns, especially in California and Wyoming. Since 1974 he has served as a board director of Laguna Greenbelt that was able to preserve twenty-two thousand acres of land in a rapidly urbanizing area of Southern California. He has combined this environmental activism with his work as a landscape and nature photographer. To use photography to promote the preservation of pristine environments, with the late Jerry Burchfield he founded Laguna Wilderness Press, which since 2003 has published 13 books of photography including three with his own work. Nature's Laguna Wilderness includes 80 color photographs of this area he helped to preserve; the book received a five-page review in a Sunday section of the Los Angeles Times, and in 2014 it was published in a completely revised and expanded edition. Wind River Wilderness features photos and text on Wyoming's Wind River Range, Wyoming Range, Upper Hoback and Gros Ventre Range, and Red Desert with photos by Chilcote and several other photographers. A third book, Wild Wyoming Range Wilderness, appeared in early 2013. Book sales helped raise some of the $8.4 million used to save a pristine area from development when the Trust for Public Land announced a buyback of oil and gas leases. Since 1998 Chilcote's photographs have been exhibited at many art galleries in Southern California and Wyoming, including a retrospective of 60 of his photographs of the Laguna Wilderness which were shown at the Founders Gallery of Soka University of America from January to August 2012.

He combined his interest in photography with his love for Latin America by editing and publishing At the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna's Photographs of the Mexican Revolution. The book features dramatic black and white previously unpublished photographs of the revolution during the 1908-1922 period. It was previewed at the 2012 LASA Congress but was formally launched in August, followed by his co-curated exhibition of 56 prints from the Osuna archive which opened November 10, 2012, at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside. The exhibit has moved to various university campuses, especially where Latin American studies programs are prominent, has been shown in Mexico, and will ultimately be permanently exhibited at the UC Casa de California in Mexico City.


  • Portuguese Africa. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall 1967. Pp. 149.
  • (Editor). Protest and Resistance in Angola and Brazil: Comparative Essays. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972. Pp. 317. Contributed introduction, pp. 1–8 and Chapter 12, pp. 243–302.
  • (Editor). Emerging Nationalism in Portuguese Africa: Documents. Stanford Stanford University, 1973. Pp. 642. Contributed introduction, pp. 17–57.
  • (Editor with Joel C. Edelstein, Joel). Latin America: The Struggle with Dependency and Beyond. Cambridge and New York: Schenkman and John Wiley & Sons, 1974. Pp. 781. Contributed introduction, pp. 1–87.
  • The Brazilian Communist Party: Conflict and Integration, 1922-1972. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Pp. 361.
  • Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm, Boulder, Colorado. Westview Press, 1981. Pp. 480.
  • (Editor and contributor). Dependency and Marxism: Toward a Resolution of the Debate. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1982. Pp. 179.
  • (Editor with Dale Johnson - editors and contributors). Theories of Development: Mode of Production or Dependency?. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 1983. Contributed "Introduction."
  • (Editor and contributor). Brazil in Crisis. Special Issue of Latin American Perspectives, Issue 40 (Winter 1984), 1-144.
  • (Editor and contributor). Unity and Struggle: Reassessing the Thought of Amílcar Cabral. Special Issue of Latin American Perspectives, Issue 41 (Spring 1984), 1-104.
  • Theories of Development and Underdevelopment. Boulder: Westview Press, 1984, Pp. 179.
  • With Joel C. Edelstein. Latin America: Capitalist and Socialist Perspectives of Development and Underdevelopment. Boulder: Westview Press, 1986. Pp. 175.
  • Power and the Ruling Classes in Northeast Brazil: Juazeiro and Petrolina in Transition. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Pp. 383.
  • Chilcote, S. Hadjiyannis, Fred A. López, Daniel Nataf, and Elizabeth Sammis. Transitions from Dictatorship to Democracy: Comparative Studies of Spain, Portugal, and Greece. New York: Taylor and Francis, 1990. Pp. 220. Contributed Preface, Chapters 1 and 5.
  • (Editor and contributor). Post-Marxism, the Left, and Democracy. Special Issue of Latin American Perspectives, Issue 65, 17 (Spring 1990), 1- 128.
  • Amílcar Cabral's Revolutionary Theory and Practice. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1991.
  • Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm Revisited. Boulder: Westview Press, 1994, Second edition, substantial revision and update of 1981 edition. Pp. 421.
  • (Editor), The Political Economy of Imperialism. Kluwer Academic Press, l999.Pp. 270. Paperback Edition: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001. Includes Preface, pp. vii and “Introduction” pp. 19–40.
  • (Editor). Imperialism. Theoretical Directions. Amherst, New York: Humanity Press, 2000.
  • Comparative Inquiry in Politics and Political Economy: Theories and Issues. Boulder: Westview Press, 2000. Pp. 216
  • Theories of Comparative Political Economy: Theories and Directions. Boulder: Westview Press, 2000. Pp. 316.
  • Nature’s Laguna Wilderness. Laguna Beach: Laguna Wilderness Press, 2003. Pp. 96.
  • Development in Theory and Practice: Latin American Perspectives. Lanham, Md: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2003. Pp. 394.
  • (Editor). Alternatives to Neoliberalism in Latin America. Selected Papers from Latin American Perspectives. Beijing: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 2004. Pp. 334.
  • (Editor). Wind River Wilderness. Laguna Beach: Laguna Wilderness Press, 2006. Pp. 144.
  • The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy. Lanham, Ms: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010. Pp. 316. A revolução portuguesa. Porto: Afrontamento, 2014
  • (Editor). The Wild Wyoming Range. Laguna Beach: Laguna Wilderness Press, 2013. Pp. 120.
  • (Editor) Sabino Osuna’s Photography At the Hour of Combat: Sabino: Osuna’s Photographs of the Mexican Revolution, Laguna Beach: Laguna Wilderness Press, 2012, Pp. 120.
  • Intellectuals and the Search for a National Identity in Brazil. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Pp. 288.
  • The Laguna Wilderness. Laguna Beach: Laguna Wilderness Press, 2014. Pp. 120.
  • Selected journal articles

  • "The Political Thought of Amílcar Cabral," The Journal of Modern African Studies, 6, 3 (1968), 373-388.
  • "Development and Nationalism in Portuguese Africa," Comparative Political Studies, I, 4 (January 1969), 501-525.
  • "Brazil and Africa in Comparative Perspective," Latin American Research Review, 4 (Spring 1969), 125-136.
  • "A Critical Synthesis of the Dependency Literature," Latin American Perspectives, I (Spring 1974), 4-29.
  • "Amílcar Cabral: A Bio-Bibliography of His Life and Thought, 1925-1973," Africana Journal, 5, No. 4 (1974), 289-307.
  • With Goldman, Roy, "Status Quo and Reform Attitudes of Backlands High School Students of Dominant Class Parents in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico," International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 16, Nos. 1-2 (1975), 37-50.
  • With Gorman, Steve; Leroy, Cis; and Sheehan, Sara, "Internal and External Issues of Dependency: Approach, Pedagogical Method, and Critique of Two Courses on Latin America," Review of Radical Political Economy, 6 (Winter 1975), 80-94.
  • "Ruling Classes and Dependency in Two Backland Communities of Northeast Brazil," Studies in Comparative International Development, 11 (1976), 35-50.
  • "Class, Race, Progress, and Nationalism in Brazil," Latin American Research Review, 12, No. 1 (1977), 222-227.
  • "A Question of Dependency," Latin American Research Review, 13, No. 2 (1978), 55-68
  • "Perspectives of Class and Political Struggle in the Portuguese Capitalist State," Kapitalistate, 8 (1980), 99-120.
  • "Politics of Conflict in the Popular Poetry of Northeast Brazil," Journal of Latin American Lore, 5, No. 2 (1979), 205-231.
  • "Issues of Theory in Dependency and Marxism," Latin American Perspectives, 7 (Summer-Fall 1981), 3-16.
  • "Politics and Ideology in the Popular Poetry of Brazil," Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 2 (1983), 88-98.
  • "Politics and Ideology in the Popular Poetry of Brazil," Ideologies and Literature, 4 (September–October 1983), 279-293.
  • "The Theory and Practice of Amílcar Cabral: Revolutionary Implications for the Third World," Latin American Perspectives, 11 (Spring 1984), 3-14.
  • "Teorias reformistas e revolucionárias de desenvolvimento e subdesenvolvimento," Revista de Economía Política, 3 (July–September 1983), 103-123.
  • "Toward the Democratic Opening in Latin America: The Case of Brazil," Monthly Review 23 (February 1984), 15-24.
  • "Sociedad y política en Portugal," Cuadernos Políticos, No. 28 (1982), 74-87.
  • "A crise dos intelectuais," in Lua Nova (São Paulo) 2, No. 2 (July–September 1985), 82-86.
  • "Reflections on Brazilian Political Thought and the Crisis of the Intellectual," in Luso-Brazilian Review (University of Wisconsin) 22 (Winter 1985), 111-121.
  • "Developmental Theories: Current State of the Debate," Rasvoj/Development-International, I, (July–December 1986), 323-336.
  • "Teorías do desenvolvimento: situação actual do debate," Economía e Socialismo, 10, 69-70 (December 1986), 67-75.
  • "Perspectivas alternativas de política comparada," Revista de Ciencia Política, 31 (April–June 1988), 52-65.
  • "Família e classe dominante em duas comunidades sertanejas do Nordeste Brasileiro," Revista Brasileira de Estudos Políticos, 67-68 (July 1988-January 1989), 181- 208.
  • "Post-Marxism: The Retreat from Class in Latin America," Latin American Perspectives, 17 (Spring 1990), 3-24.
  • "Post-Marxism and its Ideological Impact on the Theory and Practice of U.S. Politics," Cuadernos de Trabajo. Análisis e Investigaciones, 6 (April 1988), 23- 31.
  • "Tensions in the Latin American Experience: Fundamental Themes in the Formulation of a Research Agenda for the 1990s," Latin American Perspectives, 17 (Spring 1990), 122-128.
  • "Contradictions in the Search for a Class Theory of the State, Socialism, and Democracy," Socialism in the World, 74-75 (1989), 129-139 and Commentary on pp. 106–107.
  • "Perspectivas do capitalismo e do socialismo na busca de una teoría de classe do estado e da democracia, Revista de Economía Política, 10 (October–December 1990), 103-123.
  • with Chilcote, Edward B. "The Crisis of Marxism: An Appraisal of New Directions," Rethinking Marxism, 5 (Summer 1992), 84-106.
  • "The Left in Latin America: Questions of Theory and Practice," Latin American Perspectives 30 (July 2003), 10-15.
  • "Trotksy and Development Theory in Latin America," Critical Sociology, 35 (6) 2010, 719-741. Published in Portuguese as “Influências trotskyistas sobre a teoria do desenvolvimento da América Latina,”Revista de Ciências Sociais 40 (No. 1) 2010, 73-98. Also as “Trotsky e a teoria latino-americana do desenvolvimento,” Revista Crítica Marxists, No.34 (2012),87-110.
  • Abu-El-Haj. Jawdat, and Ronald H. Chilcote. 2011. "Intellectuals, Social Theory, and Political Practice in Brazil," Latin American Perspectives 38 (No. 3) 2011, 5-39.
  • 2013. “Introduction: A Retrospective and Prospectus,” Latin American Perspectives, 40 No. 6 (2013), 5-10.
  • Reference works

  • (Editor). Emerging Nationalism in Portuguese Africa: A Bibliography of Documentary Ephemera Through 1965. Stanford: Stanford University, 1970. Pp. 114. Emerging Nationalism in Portuguese Africa: Documents, Stanford: Stanford University, 1972. Pp. 646.
  • (Editor). Revolution and Structural Change in Latin America: Ideology, Development and the Radical Left (1930-1965). Stanford: Stanford University, 1970, 2 Vols. Pp. 668 and pp. 602.
  • (Editor and compiler). Brazil and its Radical Left: An Annotated Bibliography of the Communist Movement and the Rise of Marxism, 1922-1972. New York: Kraus International Publications, 1980. Pp. 455. Sequel to Brazilian Communist Party: Conflict and Integration, 1922-1972. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
  • (Editor with Sheryl Lutjens). Cuba, 1953-1978: A Bibliographical Guide to the Literature. White Plains, NY: Kraus International Publications, 1986. Pp. 1387 in two volumes.
  • (Editor and compiler). The Portuguese Revolution of 25 April 1974: Annotated Bibliography on the Antecedents and Aftermath. Vol 1. Coimbra: Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril, Universidade de Coimbra, 1987. Pp. 329. Vol 2: Periodicals. Portuguese Political, Popular, and Mass Organizations. Coimbra: Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril. Universidade de Coimbra, 1998. Pp. 295.
  • References

    Ronald H. Chilcote Wikipedia

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