This book brings together papers presented at a conference held at the University of California in San Diego in 1988 on the ideological formation and statecraft of Peru’s APRA party. The book begins with a valuable introduction, written by the editors, that summarizes APRA’s populist qualifications and its historical evolution. The remainder of the book is divided into two parts: the first focuses on APRA’s ideology and experience as an opposition political party, and the second analyzes its performance as the governing party between 1985 and 1988.
The stated purpose of this volume is to explain the resurgence of Aprista populism, as manifested by the election of Alan García in 1985, “through an examination of the special conjuncture in Peru and the particular character of Aprismo (p. 14). The papers addressing APRA’s character and ideology are generally of high quality. However, the contributions of Steve Stein and Thomas Davies have been more fully developed in their previous writings.
In addition, this volume provides a detailed discussion of the internal sociopolitical and international economic conditions that gave rise to and influenced García’s administration. Two particularly insightful papers are Cynthia Sanborn’s on APRA’s adaptation to changing national conditions in the 1970s and 1980s and Francisco Durand’s on the relationship between Alan García and the business sector. El APRA makes a significant contribution toward explaining the revitalization of populism in contemporary Peru.