The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for governments to generate the necessary capacity to address important security and institutional challenges; this volume deepens our understanding of the nature and extent of state governance in Latin America.
State capacity is multidimensional, with all elements interacting to produce stable governance and security. As such, a collection of scholars and practitioners use an explicit interdisciplinary approach, drawing on the contributions of history, political science, economics, public policy, military studies, and other fields to gain a rounded understanding of the link between security and democracy.
Democracy and Security in Latin America is divided in two sections:
- Part 1 focuses on the challenges to governance and key institutions such as police, courts, armed forces. and the prison system.
- Part 2 features country case studies that illustrate particularly important security challenges and various means by which the state has confronted them.
Democracy and Security in Latin America should appeal not only to those seeking to learn more about the capacity of the democratic state in Latin America to effectively provide public security in times of stress, but to all those curious about the reality that a democracy must have security to function.
Gabriel Marcella, Orlando J. Pérez, and Brian Fonseca
Part 1: Institutions
1. The Crisis of Governance
3. Judicial System
Jonathan D. Rosen
5. Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces
Part 2: Country Studies
6. Colombia: Security Challenges and State Capacity
Jennifer S. Holmes and Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres
7. Mexico: Dilemma between Democratic Recession and Internal Security
Raúl Benítez Manaut
8. Brazil: The Evolution of Civil-Military Relations and Security
9. Peru: Counterinsurgency and the Rule of Law during Re-democratization
10. Cuba: The Exceptional Case
11. Venezuela: The Erosion of Security Capacity
12. Argentina: Legality or Disobedience?
13. Chile: A Secure Democracy?
G. Alexander Crowther
Gabriel Marcella, Orlando J. Pérez, and Brian Fonseca
"This book is an important contribution for any student, professor or researcher interested in the issue of security and its relationship with Latin American democracy…Democracy and Security in Latin America: State Capacity and Governance under Stress proves to be a valuable contribution to the debate on security, governance and criminality, and could stimulate the debate on these arguments, rekindling it with new questions. Therefore, I consider this work a good exercise to understand the structural and recent challenges at continental, regional and national levels in governance and security, both continually tested by old and new threats. It is a work of an academic nature but accessible reading for all those interested in the above-mentioned topics."
Pablo A. Baisotti, Small Wars Journal
"A timely and valuable contribution to the scholarly production on security in Latin America. At a moment when there are more questions than answers to the challenges of violence, transnational organized crime, and cyber threats, this book sheds light to the usually dark corridors of public policy-making in one of this Hemisphere’s most complex agendas. Unwilling to deprive insecurity of its complexity, this collection of articles provides fresh approaches to issues that will prevail in this region for the foreseeable future."
Luis G. Solis, President of Costa Rica (2014–2018)
"This powerful, timely, and compelling volume analyzes the capacity of the democratic state in Latin America to effectively provide public security and national defense. Regional experts focus on four key institutional structures (police, prison system, judiciary, and armed forces), applied to eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. The interdisciplinary analysis, policy implications, and recommendations make this a must-read for those seeking to understand the growing challenges of state capacity and governance in Latin America."
Lieutenant General (ret) Frederick S. Rudesheim, Director, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
"This timely look at one of the most vexing issues of hemispheric democracy—state capacity in security affairs—is long overdue and fills an important niche in our understanding of regional issues. More to the point, this volume provides policymakers with some of the tools they will need to address existing and emerging challenges across the region within a democratic construct, just at a point when the democratic construct itself is under intensifying pressure. It should be widely read and referenced."
Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society
"In this book, we are finally presented with a comprehensive and much needed interdisciplinary approach to a vexing problem that has plagued academics and policymakers for years – building state capacity to address Latin America’s complex security challenges. The editors could not have brought together a more impressive list of contributors to offer analysis and recommendations to the problem of building state capacity in the region."
Frank O. Mora, PhD., Professor of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University (FIU) and former Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center