The Politics of Modern Central America

The Politics of Modern Central America : Civil War, Democratization, and Underdevelopment

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This book analyzes the origins and consequences of civil war in Central America. Fabrice Lehoucq argues that the inability of autocracies to reform themselves led to protest and rebellion throughout the twentieth century and that civil war triggered unexpected transitions to non-military rule by the 1990s. He explains how armed conflict led to economic stagnation and why weak states limit democratization - outcomes that unaccountable party systems have done little to change. This book also uses comparisons among Central American cases - both between them and other parts of the developing world - to shed light on core debates in comparative politics and comparative political economy. This book suggests that the most progress has been made in understanding the persistence of inequality and the nature of political market failures, while drawing lessons from the Central American cases to improve explanations of regime change and the outbreak of civil more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 28 b/w illus. 1 map 4 tables
  • 1139533754
  • 9781139533751

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Central America on the eve of the 1980s; 2. Civil war, revolution, and economic collapse; 3. Stalemates, peace negotiations, and democratization; 4. Economic stability, lacklustre growth, and social change; 5. Democracy, state capacity, and redistribution; more

Review quote

'This book combines a deep knowledge of Central American countries with the theoretical perspectives of comparative politics and political economy.' William Keech, Duke University 'Fabrice Lehoucq has written a well-executed book of impressive theoretical scope and richness, putting to good use the comparative possibilities of the six Central American countries as he traces in concise but effective fashion developments in each country across recent decades, organized by his analytic focus on the causes of civil war, determinants of democratization, patterns of economic development, and the political economy of inequality. A careful and insightful scholar, Lehoucq demonstrates both a command of several cross-national quantitative literatures along with the in-depth understanding of the good area specialist.' Charles Brockett, University of the South 'An analysis of the politics of Central America that is up to date theoretically, methodologically, and substantively. Fabrice Lehoucq's masterful study of civil wars, democratization, and the challenges of democratic consolidation shows why this region belongs at the center of debates about comparative politics. If I were to recommend one book on modern Central America to my students, it would be this one.' James Mahoney, Northwestern Universityshow more

About Fabrice E. Lehoucq

Fabrice Lehoucq is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He is the author of articles that have appeared in Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics and the Journal of Democracy, among others, and he has published several books, including Stuffing the Ballot Box: Fraud, Democratization, and Electoral Reform in Costa Rica (with Ivan Molina).show more