Understanding Central America explains how domestic, global, political and economic forces have shaped rebellion and regime change in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras throughout their histories, during the often-turbulent 1970s and since. The text provides students a comprehensive coverage of Central America, political science, and international relations. The authors explain the origins and development of the region's political conflicts, their resolution and ongoing political change. This Sixth Edition provides the most up-to-date information on the recent political changes in each of the five countries presented.
John A. Booth is Regents Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of North Texas. He is the author of Costa Rica: Quest for Democracy.Christine J. Wade is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College. She is the co-author of Nicaragua: Living in the Shadow of the Eagle.Thomas W. Walker is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and former Director of Latin American Studies Program at Ohio University. He is the co-author of Nicaragua: Living in the Shadow of the Eagle.
List of Tables and Illustrations Preface Acknowledgments List of Acronyms 1 Crisis and Transformation 2 Global Forces and System Change in Central America Poverty and Its Causes Regime Change in Central America Discussion 3 The Common History Conquest to 1838 1838 to the Present 4 Costa Rica Historical Background Weathering Global Forces The Economic Development Model Transformed Changes in Politics and Parties Contemporary Costa Rican Politics Conclusions 5 Nicaragua Historical Background Global Forces and Insurrection The Revolution Replacing the Revolution Contemporary Nicaraguan Politics Conclusions 6 El Salvador Historical Background Global Forces and Insurrection Government and Politics Since the Peace Accord Conclusions 7 Guatemala Historical Background Global Forces and Conflict The Civilian Transitional Regime and the Civil War The Peace Accords and Contemporary Guatemalan Politics Conclusions 8 Honduras Historical Background Weathering Global Forces Contemporary Honduran Politics Conclusions 9 Political Participation, Political Attitudes, and Democracy Citizen Participation Citizen Attitudes Factors Shaping Attitudes and Participation Conclusions 10 Power, Democracy, and U.S. Policy in Central America The Problem of Power Democracy, Mobilization The Roots of U.S. Policy in Central America Communism in Central America Demobilization in Central America U.S. Policy in the Post--Cold War Period Conclusions 11 Reflections and Projections Reflections: Repression, Mobilization, and Democratic Transition Projections: Prospects for Democratic Consolidation Conclusions Appendix Notes About Authors Index