Contesting Trade in Central America
Market Reform and Resistance
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Texas Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Acronyms and Initialisms
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I want to begin by thanking the several hundred scholars, activists, and public servants in Central America who contributed to my understanding of the region as I conducted field research in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua over the 2003–2010 period. Many of them met with me repeatedly, read early...
Introduction, Overview, and Methods
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After sixteen years of “governing from below,” Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007, once again denouncing the forces of imperialism and promising to address economic grievances. Joining Ortega, Honduran president “Mel” Zelaya (2006–2009) linked forces...
1. The March to Market Reform in Central America
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Market reform made deep inroads in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s, with Central American countries among the regional leaders. Their market shift was noteworthy, given the strong statist features of these economies in the early 1980s. In Costa Rica, then Latin America’s solitary social democracy...
2. Rule Makers and Rule Takers: Negotiating CAFTA
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In 2002, political leaders of five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the United States began preparatory work on a free trade agreement. Formal negotiation started in January 2003 and proceeded through nine brisk rounds; the draft agreement...
3. Resistance: Competing Voices
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The rosy images used to sell CAFTA were not equally persuasive to all. Those who had become skeptical during prior market reforms often resisted these overtures, and some became early critics. For others who were initially hopeful, the exaggerated claims that were characteristic of the campaign gave way...
4. Ratification Politics: In the Chamber and in the Street
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Before CAFTA could enter into effect, legislative approval was required. Ratification by the legislature was designed to ensure that support extended beyond the executive branch. In theory, approval at this second level of review would infuse the new rules with greater legitimacy and bolster public acceptance...
5. After CAFTA: Anti-Mining Movements, Investment Disputes, and New Organizational Territory
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By 2010, four publicly disclosed complaints had been filed against Central American governments under CAFTA-DR, two of them by gold mining companies against the government of El Salvador (Antell, Carlson, McCandless 2010). As gold mining turned controversial and the Salvadoran government...
6. Electoral Challenges and Transitions
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In the first decade of the twenty-first century, market fundamentalism lost its luster and Latin American politics shifted leftward.1 This transition is commonly understood to be the result of two simultaneous developments: the region-wide consolidation of democracy, and popular disappointment with...
7. Post-Neoliberalism and Alternative Approaches to Change
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As market reform creates displacement, disenchantment, and doubt, it builds tension and pressure for change. In different ways, post-neoliberal regimes begin to tip away from further market liberalization and move toward the goal of market regulation, attenuating damages, providing transition assistance...
Appendix A. Note on Interview Methodology
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This manuscript draws on interviews with 208 direct participants in and observers of the Central American economic reform debate. These interviews were conducted with participants from Nicaragua (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008), El Salvador (2004, 2005, 2010), and Costa Rica (2005, 2010). Most respondents were chosen based on their...
Appendix B. Presidential Election Results: Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, 1978–2011
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Page Count: 350
Illustrations: 1 map, 1 b/w photo, 6 line drawings, 4 charts, 21 tables
Publication Year: 2014