Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Dr. Rose Spalding Explores Free Market Reform and its Resistance in Central America

December 10th, 2015

On November 20th, CIPR was pleased to welcome Dr. Rose J. Spalding to present her book: “Contesting Trade in Central America: Market Reform and Resistance.” Dr. Spalding is a Professor of Political Science at DePaul University.

Dr. Spalding’s book focuses on the 2004 adoption of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) by the U.S., the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. She focuses on the decision-making processes, as well as the resistance put forth by social movements, that took place in each country during the lead-up to CAFTA’s adoption.

Spalding’s work draws heavily from Polanyi’s “double movement” theory, which states that a shift towards free market economics will inevitably trigger a countermovement among social actors. Dr. Spalding argues that the passage of CAFTA provided a concrete symbol of neoliberalism in Central America, generating significant opposition from social movements. Her work suggests the importance of social movements in the post-neoliberal era, as well as the need for inclusive, grassroots political coalitions to counter the effects of free market reform.
A lively discussion—focused on Polanyi’s “double movement” theory—followed Dr. Spalding’s talk. CIPR thanks Dr. Rose Spalding for her insightful presentation.

Central America + People
Thomas F. Reese
SCLAS Executive Director. Professor - Art History