Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Fabrice Lehoucq, "The Politics of Modern Central America: Civil War, Democratization, and Underdevelopment

On November 8, 2012, the Center for Inter-American Policy welcomed Fabrice Lehoucq to discuss his latest work, The Politics of Modern Central America: Civil War, Democratization, and Underdevelopment (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Lehoucq opened his presentation by discussing his motivation in writing this work. He explained that he responded to a relative dearth of scholarly literature on the Central American region as a whole, as well as a tendency in the existent body of literature to solely examine politics or solely examine economics rather than synthesizing these aspects into a more comprehensive regional analysis.

Lehoucq’s work seeks to examine the civil wars that engulfed the region during the latter half of the twentieth century by posing several questions. First, were civil wars necessary for these countries to transition to democracy, and is that transition complete? Second, what were the human and economic costs of these civil wars? And finally, were these civil wars worth it in the end considering their human and economic costs? Lehoucq argued that the civil wars were instrumental in bringing about democracy in the region but that democratization is not complete in all of Central America. He cited the examples of Guatemala and Nicaragua, asserting that the latter is better characterized as an electoral autocracy than as a democracy. Lehoucq thus concluded that much of Central America at present displays what he terms “low-quality democracy.”

In terms of the human and economic costs of these civil wars, Lehoucq explained that the levels of human death and loss of GDP per capita were staggering. More than 300,000 individuals across the region lost their lives. To demonstrate the degree of economic devastation wrought, Lehoucq offered the example of Nicaragua, where the revolution against the Somoza regime cost the country thirty percent of its GDP, and the Sandinista war against US-backed Contras that followed resulted in another thirty percent reduction in GDP per capita. Despite the fact that the countries of Central America all have some degree of democratization, countries like Nicaragua have not recovered from this economic devastation.

In the final analysis, Lehoucq concluded that while the Central American civil wars were crucial in initiating democratization across the region, democratization has not led to general economic growth or any substantial decrease in inequality. Furthermore, despite the fact that the civil wars are long over, many Central American countries maintain egregious levels of violence, which the emergence of democracy has done little to redress.

-Hannagan Johnson




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Fridays at Newcomb to host Ryan Joyce for a talk on Gender and Diversity in the Archives

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Ryan Joyce is a 5th-year PhD candidate in the Department of French and Italian and the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Tulane University. In addition to receiving his Masters in French and Francophone Studies from Tulane University, he also completed a graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies in 2016. His dissertation examines the figure of the maroon in 19th- and 20th-century francophone Circum-Caribbean literature. His work has appeared in Small Axe, a journal that focuses on Caribbean studies and literary criticism, and Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, where he contributed an article for a special issue on queer Haitian performance and affiliation. He was a recipient of the 2017 Gender & Diversity in the Archives Research Grant from the Newcomb College Institute. It is thanks to that grant that he was able to research former Newcomb College professor Marie Augustin and her role in the Francophone Renaissance of Louisiana at the turn of the 20th century.

The lecture includes a free lunch and is open to the public.

Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats: tapioca

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Special Edition Bate Papo! Join our celebrity chef Danny Finley (‘18) as he shows us the tapioca skills he picked up while abroad in Rio. We’ll meet in the demo kitchen of McWilliams Hall to learn how to make a legit tapioca; students all get to give it a try! You pick the topping: cheese, doce de leite, Nutella… This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome. For more information, please contact Megwen at

Latin America at the Crossroads: Colombia

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Latin America at the Crossroads: Spring Seminar Series with the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research

Dr. Mónica Pachón is dean of the school of political science, government, and international relations at Universidad del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia. Professor Pachón received a PhD in political science at UC San Diego and an MA in Latin American Studies at Oxford. An expert on Colombia, she has published numerous books and articles on elections, legislative institutions, constitutions, and parties and party systems

Colombia’s two-year old peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) faces a new test on May 27, when the country holds a general election. This election is critical, since it is the first in which the FARC will participate as a legal political party. Yet, former FARC guerrillas face harsh critics on the right, death threats, and energetic protests at campaign events. Meanwhile, in splintered field of presidential candidates, Gustavo Petro, the leftist former mayor of Bogota, has emerged with a small, albeit steady lead in the polls. Who will be the likely winners and losers in this election? What is at stake for peace and development in Colombia?

RSVP is required. Email to reserve a spot. Event is free and open to the public.

Foreign Language Pedagogy and Research: New Approaches to Old Challenges Symposium

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The Language Learning Center: Spring Symposium

Tulane’s Language Learning Center is pleased to announce our first annual symposium on foreign language pedagogy. This year’s symposium, Foreign Language Pedagogy and Research: New Approaches to Old Challenges, will be held on Saturday, March 17th, 2018.

We are inviting Tulane foreign language instructors as well as graduate students to participate in the symposium. K-12 instructors from the area will also be invited to attend and to participate. All Tulane faculty and students are welcome to attend.

Miguel Zenon at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans

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Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón studied classical saxophone at the Escuela Libre de Música in Puerto Rico before receiving a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from Berklee College of Music, and a master’s degree in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music. Zenón’s more formal studies, however, are supplemented and enhanced by his vast and diverse experience as a sideman and collaborator. Throughout his career he has divided his time equally between working with older jazz masters and working with the music’s younger innovators –irrespective of styles and genres.

This program is supported in part by the CAC’s JazzNet Endowment Fund and made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Dennis A. Georges Lecture in Hellenic Culture

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Join Dr. Emily Greenwood as she will be speaking about Greek language/literature, slavery, and the “politics of the human” when she delivers the Dennis A. Georges Lecture in Hellenic Culture.

Emily Greenwood is Professor and Chair of the Classics Department at Yale University where she also holds a joint appointment in African American Studies. She is one of the pre-eminent thinkers on Greek historiography of her generation as well as the leading figure in re-evaluating the legacy of Graeco-Roman culture in colonial and post-colonial contexts. In addition to her book Afro-Greeks: Dialogues Between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century (Oxford 2010) [Joint winner of the Runciman Prize], she has published over a dozen articles and book chapters that investigate the rich and nuanced reception of ancient Greek literature in the African Diaspora, especially in Caribbean literature.