Central America Politics

PS 3341 - Central American Politics
Spring 2011
Prof. Nazih Richani
EM: [email protected]
Phone: 908-737-4097
Office: Political Science Department (J-105-F)
Office Hours:
M. – 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM
T. – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
W. – 2:00 – 3:15 PM
Th. - 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Course Objectives:
This course provides a general overview of Central America politics and socioeconomic
development since independence. It analyzes the main historical junctures that the region
has confronted from the early attempts to democratize, the era of revolution and
counterrevolution, military dictatorship to the contemporary phase of electoral
democracies. This course concludes with an evaluation of the successes and failures of
the democratization process and the challenges that Central America faces in the era of
Class Attendance:
Class attendance is mandatory and if you lose more than 3 sessions you will be advised to
drop the course.
Grade Assessment
Class Participation ( 10%)
Short papers
Final Exam
Required Texts
John Booth et al., Understanding Central America: Global Forces, Rebellion and
Change. (Westview Press, 2005)
Jeffrey Paige, Coffee and Power: revolution and the Rise od Democrcay in Central
America. (Harvard Press, 1997).
Students are responsible for becoming familiar with, and will be held accountable for, the
Kean University Academic Integrity Policy and the Student Code of Conduct. The
Academic Integrity Policy is available at www.kean.edu/forms/AcademicIntegrity,pdf or
the Web site for The guide at www.kean.edu/publications/TheGuide2007.pdf., and the
Student Code of Conduct is available at www.kean.edu/~conduct or the Web site for The
Guide at www.kean.edu/publications/Theguide2007.pdf.
Dates to Remember:
January 24
January 31
February 7
February 7
March 11
Last day to WD with 100% refund
Last day to WD with 75% refund
Last day to declare course as audit
Last day to WD with 50% refund or P/F
Last day to withdraw with W grade
Course Outline and Schedule
Session 1 introduction
Session 2: The Socio-Historical Context
Booth et al Understanding Central America, Chapters 1 and 2.
Session 2. Context Cont. Booth chapter 3 & Jeffrey Paige, Coffee and Power, chapter 1
Session 3. Costa Rica: “The Anomaly” Explaining the Root causes of the exceptional
Case? Booth Chapter 4
Session 4. Costa Rica cont. Paige pp.219-71
Session 5. Nicaragua; Dictatorship, Revolution and Counter Revolution
Booth, chapter 6 & Paige pp 153-183
Session 6. Nicaragua (cont).
Session 7. El Salvador “The Unfinished Revolution”
Booth, chapter 6
Session 8. El Salvador cont. Paige, pp187-219
Session 9. Guatemala: Dictatorship and Protracted Civil War
Booth chapter 7
Session 10 Mid term
Session 11.Guatemala (paper to read Hidden Power) access paper from the Washington
Office of Latin America (WOLA ) website.
Session 12. Honduras “Frustrated Revolution”
Booth chap 8
Session 13.Film
Session 14. Democratization in the Region
Booth chapter 9
Session 15. Democratization, Liberalism, Neoliberalism and Criminal Violence: From
“Peasant Wars to Slum Wars” Paige 315-368 & Rodgers, Dennis (2007). Slum Wars of
the 21st Century: The New Geography of Conflict in Central America. Crisis States
Research Center. Working Paper no.10. (You can access this paper online)
Session 16 US- Central America Relations
Booth Chapter 10
Session 17. US- Central America Relation cont.
Session 18.TBA
Session 19 TBA
Session 20 TBA
Session 21. Review
May 4 Final Exam.