Central America constitutes a fascinating case study of the challenges, opportunities and characteristics of the process of transformation in today’s global economy. Comprised of a politically diverse range of societies, this region has long been of interest to students of economic development and political change.
This title aims to describe and explain the manifold processes that are taking place in Central America that are altering patterns of social, political and economic governance, with particular focus on the impact of globalization and democratization. Containing sections on topics such as state and democracy, key political and social actors, inequality and social policy and international relations, in addition to in-depth studies on five key countries (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala), this text is composed of contributions from some of the leading scholars in the field.
No other single volume studies the current characteristics of the region from a political, economic and social perspective or reviews recent research in such detail. As such, this handbook is of value to academics, students and researchers as well as to policy-makers and those with an interest in governance and political processes.
Prologue: Modernising Backwardness Edelberto Torres-Rivas; Chapter 1 Introduction: Central America’s Triple Transition and the Persistent Power of Elites Salvador Martí i Puig and Diego Sánchez-Ancochea; Part I: Development, Distribution and Redistribution Chapter 2 The Great Transformation in Central America: Transnational Accumulation and the Evolution of Capital Aaron Schneider; Chapter 3 Central American Migration, Remittances and Transnational Development Ninna Nyberg Sørensen; Chapter 4 Natural Disasters, Climate Change and Environmental Challenges in Central America Alfredo Stein; Chapter 5 The Income Distribution in Central America Juan Diego Trejos and Timothy Gindling; Chapter 6 Social Policy in Central America: Stubborn Legacies, Positive yet Limited Change Juliana Martínez Franzoni; Part II: Democratization and the State Chapter 7 Advancing the Study of Stateness in Central America: Methodology and Some Illustrative Findings Jorge Vargas Cullel; Chapter 8 Authoritarian and Democratic Regimes in Central America Fabrice Lehoucq; Chapter 9 Institutional Legitimacy in Central America: 2004-10 John Booth and Mitchell Seligson; Chapter 10 Central America (High) Courts Elema Martínez Barahona; Chapter 11 The Central American Military: Building Democratic Control in Post-Conflict Societies Orlando J. Pérez and Rafael Martínez; Chapter 12 Drugs Trafficking and Governance in Central America Otto Argueta; Part III: Key Political and Social Actors Chapter 13 Political Parties: the Right Barry Cannon; Chapter 14 Political Parties: the Left Salvador Martí i Puig; Chapter 15 The Transformation of Central American Economic Elites: from Local Tycoons to Transnational Business Groups Benedicte Bull and Yuri Kasahara; Chapter 16 Social Movements in Central America Rose J. Spalding; Chapter 17 Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Social Movements in Central America Miguel González, Vivian Jiménez and Victor del Cid; Part IV: International Relations Chapter 18 Central America’s Relations with the USA Hector Perla, Salvador Martí i Puig and Dany Burridge; Chapter 19 Central America’s Relations with Latin America Pedro Caldentey and Francisco Rojas; Chapter 20 Regional Integration in Central America Fernando Rueda-Junquera; Chapter 21 The Role of International Financial Institutions in Central America Sarah Hunt; Part V: Country Experiences Chapter 22 Costa Rica Alberto Cortés, Gerardo Hernández and Diego Sánchez-Ancochea; Chapter 23 El Salvador Mo Hume; Chapter 24 Guatemala Pablo González; Chapter 25 Honduras Michelle Taylor; Chapter 26 Nicaragua David Close