Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Visiting Fellow, Kellogg Institute
University of Notre Dame
"The Origins and Outcomes of Civil War in Central America"
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
12:30pm - C103 Hesburgh Center
In his new book Fabrice Lehoucq analyzes the origins and consequences of civil war in Central America. He argues that the inability of autocracies to reform themselves led to protest and rebellion throughout the 20th century and that civil war triggered unexpected transitions to non-military rule by the 1990s. He explains how armed conflict led to economic stagnation and why weak states limit democratization—outcomes that unaccountable party systems have done little to change.
The book also uses comparisons among Central American cases—both between them and other parts of the developing world—to shed light on core debates in comparative politics and comparative political economy. Lehoucq suggests that the most progress has been made in understanding the persistence of inequality and the nature of political market failures, while drawing lessons from the Central American cases to improve explanations of regime change and the outbreak of civil war.
Fabrice Lehoucq (PhD, Duke University), previously a Kellogg visiting fellow in 1992, is associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. His research investigates the origins and breakdown of political systems, electoral fraud and reform, the operation of democratic institutions, and political economy.
This spring he is exploring the relationship between development and democracy in a new book project, “Political Competition and Regime Development in Latin America.” Using both qualitative interpretation of political events and a new database of more than 100 years of political and economic developments in Latin America, he emphasizes the role of political calculations in democratic consolidation, arguing that democracies tend to take root during ongoing political stalemates.
The author of four previous books, Lehoucq recently published The Politics of Modern Central America: Civil War, Democratization, and Underdevelopment(Cambridge University Press, 2012). He has also written numerous book chapters and articles in journals such as Comparative Politics, World Development, and the Journal of Democracy.
Previously a research professor at CIDE in Mexico City, Lehoucq has also consulted for the Bertelsmann Transformation Index, the Carter Center, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank, among others.