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Palgrave Macmillan

US National Security Concerns in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Concept of Ungoverned Spaces and Failed States

ISBN 9781137379511
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The concepts of 'ungoverned spaces' and 'failed states' where the limited presence of the state is seen as a challenge to global security have generated a rich intellectual debate in recent years. In this edited volume, scholars from Latin America and the United States will analyze how US foreign policy making circles have applied the concepts to the creation of new US security initiatives in the Latin American region during the post September 11, 2001 era. The extension of concepts to Latin America has been significant because it has meant that during the past thirteen years US policy in the Hemisphere has shifted away from the primarily economic emphasis of the 1990s, the era of the Free Trade Area of the Americas project, back to a security focus reminiscent of the Cold War era. The last decade has witnessed a significant increase in US military presence in the region highlighted by the re-launching of the Caribbean-based Fourth Fleet, the militarization of drug fighting efforts in Mexico, and the establishment of several new military bases in Colombia, the staunchest US ally in the region.

Gary Prevost is Professor in the Department of Political Science, St. John's University/College of Saint Benedict, Minnesota, USA. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Minnesota and has published widely on Latin America and Spain. His books include Politics of Latin America - The Power Game and Democracy and Socialism in Sandinista Nicaragua, co-authored with Harry E. Vanden; The 1990 Nicaraguan Elections and Their Aftermath, co-edited with Vanessa Castro; The Undermining of the Sandinista Revolution, co-edited with Harry E. Vanden; Cuba: A Different America, co-edited with Wilber Chaffee; The Bush Doctrine and Latin America, co-edited with Carlos Oliva Campos; Revolutionaries to Politicians, co-edited with David Close and Kalatowie Deonandan; and United States-Cuban Relations - A Critical History, co-authored with Esteban Morales, in addition to numerous articles and book chapters on Nicaragua and Spanish politics. His research on Latin America has been supported by a number of grants, including a Fulbright Central American Republics Award.
Harry E. Vanden, Professor at the University of South Florida, USA, has worked and lived in several Latin American countries. A Fulbright Scholar in Peru and later in Brazil (2007), he has published more than 40 scholarly articles, numerous book chapters and fourteen books, including Latin America: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Politics of Latin America: the Power Game (4nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2012), co-authored with Gary Prevost, Latin American Social Movements in the Twenty-First Century: Resistance, Power, And Democracy (Roman and Littlefield, 2008) co-edited with Richard Stahler-Sholk and Glen Kuecker, chosen as a Choice 2009 Outstanding Academic Title, José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology of His Writings, translated and edited by Harry E. Vanden and Marc Becker. (New York: Monthly Review, 2011, and Kharagpur, India: Cornerstone Publications, 2013), and Social Movements and Leftist Governments in Latin America, co-edited with Gary Prevost and Carlos Oliva (London: Zed Books, 2012).

Carlos Oliva Campos teaches philosophy and history at The University of Havana, Cuba. He formerly worked as a researcher at the Center for Study of the Americas and the Center for Study of the United States. For many years he served as executive director of the Association for the Unity of Our America, an NGO based in Havana. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Texas and John Hopkins University. He is the author, co-author and editor of numerous books including The Bush Doctrine and Latin America and Panamericanism and Neo PanAmericanism: The View from Latin America (with Gary Prevost); La situación actual en Cuba: desafíos y alternativas, and Relaciones internacionales en America Central y el Caribe durante los anos 80.

Luis Fernando Ayerbe is a professor in the department of economics and the post-graduate program in international relations at the State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP), Brazil. He has also been a visiting researcher at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University and the University of Barcelona. He is the coordinator of the Institute for Economic and International Studies (IEEI), member of the Academic Board of the National Institute for Studies on the United States (INEU), member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Coordination for Economic and Social Research (CRIES) and associate member of the Center of Studies on Contemporary Culture (CEDEC). He was a visiting scholar at Harvard University and at Barcelona's Autonomous University. His book 'Los Estados Unidos y la América Latina: la construcción de la hegemonía" has won the 'Casa de las Américas' award.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction; Gary Prevost and Harry Vanden
2. From the US Department of State, USAID, and Washington-based Think Tanks: The Search for Ungoverned Spaces in South America; Luiza R. Mateo and Aline P. dos Santos
3. United State and the Security Agenda in the Caribbean Basin After 9/11; Carlos Oliva Campos
4. The Militarization of US-Mexican Relations: Ungoverned Spaces and Failed State?; Jaime Precaido Coronado
5. Maras, Contragoverned Spaces and Sovereignty; Harry E. Vanden
6. Central America: Ungoverned Spaces and the National Security Policy
of the United States; Ignacio Medina Núñez
7. Security Issues on the Mexico-Guatemala Border and their Relationship to the New National Security Policy of the United States; Daniel Villafuerte
8. Old Wine in New Wineskins: Incorporating the 'Ungoverned Spaces' Concept into Plan Colombia; John C. Dugas
9. United States Response to the Haitian Earthquake in the Context of the Concepts of Failed State and Ungoverned Spaces; Gary Prevost
10. Conclusion; Gary Prevost, Carlos Oliva, Luis Fernando Ayerbe and Harry Vanden


"This volume makes an important contribution to understanding the new geographies of power created by the end of the Cold War, the US war on drugs and war on terrorism discourse and policies, and the conflicts surrounding transnational networks ranging from migration to organized crime. Shifting the focus from states to 'ungoverned areas,' Latin American and US specialists offer valuable insights for scholars and students of globalization, foreign policy, security studies, and Latin America." - Richard Stahler-Sholk, affiliation TK
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