Although the role of these intellectuals as presidents; ambassadors; ministers and high profile politicians has not always been beneficial to their countries of birth; intellectuals in Latin America feel the need to actively participate in politics. In Europe and the United States; it would appear as if intellectuals feel more skeptical about their participation in public affairs; particularly when the posts imply a greater degree of public exposure. Are these differences historical; political; cultural; or is the apparent paucity of intellectuals-politicians due more to the intrinsic characteristics of the political field in Europe and the United States?
In this essay; I will explore the political connotations of the term intellectual and contrast it with the views of intellectuals in Europe; Latin America and the United States. I will attempt to explain similarities and differences in their conception of what an intellectual is; as well as give possible explanations for these sometimes diverging perspectives.