Tag Archives: politics

From War to Politics: An International Conference on El Salvador’s Peace Process

(Written by CLACS MA student Vladimir Penaloza.)

From March 31st to April 2nd, New York City will play host to a conference about the process and effects of the 1992 Peace Accords that brought an end to El Salvador’s bloody and lengthy civil war. The conference is hosted by New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Columbia University’s Institute for Latin American Studies.

The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed on January 16, 1992. The treaty was brokered by representatives of the Salvadoran government, the rebel movement (FMLN) and Salvadoran political parties, with observers from the Roman Catholic Church and United Nations. These peace accords brought peace to a country that had endured a twelve-year acuerdosdepazphoto (1)civil war that was waged between the military-led government and a coalition of leftist groups and the communist party (FMLN). Its is believed that more than 75,000 people died, and an unknown number of people “disappeared” during one of Central America’s longest and bloodiest conflicts.

It has been close to 25 years since the Salvadoran Peace Accords were signed at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. From War to Politics intends to reflect on the circumstances that allowed the peace process to be successful. The peace process itself was a remarkable achievement that ended an intractable conflict and enabled El Salvador to transition to peaceful civilian rule. By bringing together over a dozen of the most crucial participants and scholars, this conference hopes to find consensus on what happened and what the outcomes were. The panels to be held will focus on the topics still considered the core details of the Accords, for example, what impact did the role of external actors on the process have in shaping the peace process? Were the external actors of greater impact than internal actors? All this and more will be discussed during the conference.

The panels will include the following topics:

  • The Role of El Salvador’s Internal Actors in Shaping Peace
  • Fighting While Talking: How Battleground Dynamics Influenced Negotiating Strategies
  • The Role of External Actors in Shaping Peace
  • Roundtable: What Difference Did the Accords Make?

The conclusions reached during these sessions will have been arrived at by the people who actually participated in the original Peace Accords. Some of the participants include:

Armando Calderon Sol, former president of El Salvador (1994-99) and Mayor of San Salvador (1988-94)calderon-sol

 

Bernard W. Aronson, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairsbernardquien201

 

 

Salvador Samayoa, former member of the FMLN’s Political-Diplomatic Commissionsama2

 

 

For more information about the conference, including a detailed program, biographies of the participants, and a link to register, please see the official conference website.

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Anti-Imperial Imperialism as a Revolutionary Model?

Written by CLACS MA student Michael Cary.

Last Monday marked the second installment of the Spring 2016 Colloquium Series. CLACS was happy to receive Joshua Simon of Columbia University, who gave us a preview of his upcoming book. In a lecture titled “The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought,” Simon presented a unified interpretation of independence movements in the Americas.

Breaking with the models expounded by what he calls the “Age of Revolutions” and “Incipient Nationalism” theses, Simon instead posits that we should consider the commonalities among the American independence movements themselves. He makes his case by analyzing the specific role played by Creoles, and their position within colonial empires. Essentially, Simon links the Creole revolutions by showing how various revolutionary leaders reacted the inherent contradictions caused by revolution in the context of the Creole classes positioning between the European colonizer and the American colonized. For the Creole class, the dilemma was: “How to end European rule of the Americas without undermining Creole rule in the Americas?”

Drawing on the revolutionary figures Alexander Hamilton, Simón Bolívar and Lucas Alamán, Simon characterizes American and Latin American independence movements as both “anti-imperial and imperial at the same time.” He then points out how shared political thought manifested itself in the justification of independence, the constitutions of these nascent governments, and their early foreign policy positions.

You can watch the full video of the event below:

Colloquium Series Part 2: Joshua Simon

On Monday, February 22nd at 6:00pm in the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, CLACS will welcome Columbia University’s Joshua Simon, who will present the second lecture of the Spring 2016 Colloquium SeriesPolitical Imaginaries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Professor Simon’s talk, entitled “The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and the Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought,” will explore the similarities that existed among Creole revolutionaries during the independence movements that swept the American continent in the 18th and 19th centuries. Monday’s lecture is based on Simon’s work for an upcoming book, The Ideology of Creole Revolution: American Political Thought in Comparative Perspective (Columbia University Press).

Professor Simon explains the themes of his lecture and book:
headshotresize“This book manuscript proposes a new, unified interpretation of the leading ideas of the independence movements of the United States and Latin America. It takes as its point of departure the fact that all of the American independence movements were led by Creoles, the American-born descendants of European settlers. Creoles occupied a distinctive position within the social structure of the empires, simultaneously dominating fellow Americans of indigenous and African descent and dominated by fellow Europeans from the metropoles. I argue that this shared social position imposed common dilemmas on the independence movements’ political theorists, explaining key ideological similarities in their defenses of revolution, constitutional designs, and ideas about inter-American relations.  I illustrate my claims in three carefully chosen case studies of important Creole revolutionaries: Alexander Hamilton of the United States, Simón Bolívar of Venezuela, and Lucas Alamán of Mexico.”

Joshua Simon (Ph.D., Yale) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, specializing in political theory. He has held positions at King’s College London and the New School for Social Research. His research focuses on American and Latin American political thought, especially the ideas underlying the Americas’ revolutions, constitutions, and approaches to foreign policy. He has also studied American and Latin American adaptations of European traditions of political thought, including republicanism, liberalism, positivism, and Marxism. His work draws on the theories and methods of comparative political science and historical institutionalism, offering systematic accounts of the co-evolution of political ideologies and political institutions with both explanatory and critical intents.

After the lecture, Professor Simon will be joined by CLACS Faculty Fellow Edgardo Pérez Morales for a discussion and Q&A with the audience. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, click here to see the event page and RSVP here.

An Address by the President of Paraguay

On September 29th, the Center for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies partnered with the office of the President of NYU, and the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement (NYU Law), for a presentation by the President of Paraguay H.E. Horacio Cartes. The event, hosted at the New York University School of Law, D’Agostino Hall, gave a unique opportunity to members of the NYU community to listen to a Latin American head of state’s vision for his country. Students, faculty, media, and members of the Paraguayan community in New York, filled the 135 seat capacity room to hear about President Cartes’s proposals for making Paraguay “A Land of Opportunity,” as his presentation’s title stated. President Cartes also answered questions from the audience in a session moderated by Jorge Castañeda, Global Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU.

Photos by ©NYU Photo Bureau: Hollenshead

CLACS Alumni Profile: Amy Risley

CLACS Alum Amy Risley

CLACS Alum Amy Risley

Amy Risley is an Assistant Professor in the International Studies department at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a CLACS alum. She graduated from CLACS in 1998 and focused her research on Latin American politics.

While at CLACS she received a Tinker Field Research Grant to do field research in Argentina, where she studied civil society and activism. She’s been interested in the topic ever since.

The good news is that Amy was recently offered a tenure track position at Rhodes College, so she’ll have the opportunity to continue the research she began at CLACS!

Amy was thrilled with her experience at CLACS, and says that the inclusion of Caribbean studies, in addition to South and Central American and Mexico, distinguishes CLACS from other Latin American studies programs.  She also liked the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the access she had to faculty.  “I took excellent courses from Jeff Goodwin, Christopher Mitchell, Marty Weinstein, Elisabeth Wood, and others.  I found everyone to be remarkably accessible and encouraging,” she says. “And, of course, the endless opportunities of New York City.  I was able to take a class at Columbia, intern at Trickle Up, and listen to so many fascinating speakers who were passing through.  It was just wonderful,” Amy says.

Visit the CLACS Alumni page on the CLACS blog to learn more about our alums. If you are a CLACS alum, please join the CLACS alumni network!

Patricio Navia Weighs in on How Latin Americans Vote

Patricio Navia, CLACS Affiliated Faculty

Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Fidel and Raul Castro – these charismatic leaders are not the first to capture the hearts and minds of Latin Americans. The legacy of left-wing populist leaders in Latin America has been studies by many scholars, such as Francisco Panizza, who spoke on the topic last fall at NYU. Some scholars, including former CLACS faculty member Rafael Sanchez,  have argued that Latin America is uniquely prone to populist leadership.

Patricio Navia, a CLACS affiliated faculty member, and political analyst and columnist, has something to add to the debate. In an interview with Daisy Banks of “The Browser,” he argues various points regarding Latin America – its unmet potential, the legacy of colonialism, political models, and economic history.

As part of the interview, he suggests five books that, combined, provide compelling analyses of Latin American politics.

  • The Contemporary History of Latin America, by Tulio Halperín Donghi
  • Forgotten Continent, by Michael Reid
  • Left Behind, by Sebastian Edwards
  • The Economic History of Latin America since Independence, by Victor Bulmer-Thomas
  • Leftovers, by Jorge G Castañeda and Marco A Morales

Visit The Browser to read the full article.

Posted by Von Diaz – MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU