By embedding Guatemala in recent conceptual and theoretical work in comparative politics and political economy, this volume advances knowledge about country’s politics, economy, and state-society interactions. The contributors examine the stubborn realities and challenges afflicting Guatemala during the post-Peace-Accords-era across the following subjects: the state, subnational governance, state-building, peacebuilding, economic structure and dynamics, social movements, civil-military relations, military coup dynamics, varieties of capitalism, corruption, and the level of democracy. The book deliberately avoids the perils of parochialism by placing the country within larger scholarly debates and paradigms.
Omar Sanchez-Sibony is professor of political science at Texas State University.
1. Guatemala’s Protracted Inchoate Stateness
2. The Coup Trap in Guatemala
3. Civil-Military Relations: Is the Guatemalan Military a Democratic Institution?
4. A Durable but Impoverished Peace: Evaluating 25 Years of Peacebuilding in Guatemala
5. Subnational Authoritarianism in Guatemala: A Consolidated Phenomenon
6. Social Movements and Contention in Guatemala: Tarrow’s Power in Movement Reexamined
7. Economic Growth and the Twilight of Neoliberalism in Guatemala
8. Is Guatemalan Capitalism Hierarchical?
9. Corruption as a Political Problem in Guatemala: Incentives and Institutions
10. Understanding the Level and Fate of Democracy in Guatemala: Actor-centered Theory
This wide-ranging new assessment of Guatemala’s troubled political scene draws on the expertise of ten prominent social scientists. Each contributor examines an aspect of the national predicament through a suitably selected analytical lens. The results are illuminating in two respects—they deepen our understanding of Guatemalan contemporary realities while also testing, and, where relevant, modifying comparative schemas in the light of evidence from this intractable case.
This fascinating collection of essays deserves a wide readership among students and scholars of comparative politics and policy practitioners struggling to address autocratization in Guatemala. Harnessing the expertise of a stellar set of Central Americanist scholars and analysts and grounded in core theoretical debates about the causes and impacts of state (in)capacity, rigged peacebuilding, stunted development, and constrained mobilization, the chapters offer a sobering assessment of why democracy was never really meant to be in Guatemala.