The idea that states should take on an enhanced role in the pursuit of development is once again becoming increasingly pronounced in the global South. In Latin America, the ‘return of the state’ is associated with neostructuralism or post-neoliberalism and the rise of the New Left. Post-neoliberal projects of governance seek to retain elements of the previous export-led growth model whilst introducing new mechanisms for social inclusion and welfare. In addition to being a project of growth based on exports and expanded social spending, post-neoliberalism has a distinctive political character. This article explores the pillars of the new governance project, emphasizing the citizenship claims associated with it, along with some of the tensions that arise from export-dependent growth, budget limitations, a weak tax base and the difficulties of managing enhanced social expectations. In making their argument, the authors draw on the examples of Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina.