Abstracts

The following are abstracts and PDFs of selected CERLAC publications. 

 

Return to main publications page

 

 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, December 2007

 

ETHNICITY, VIOLENCE AND EXCLUSION: THE STRUGGLES OF COLOMBIA'S INDIGENOUS AND AFRO-COLOMBIAN PEOPLES

 

A conference sponsored by Rights and Democracy, the Latin American Human Rights and Education Research Network (RedLEIDH), and the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC)

 March 15-16, 2007 – York University, Toronto, Canada

 

Transcribed, adapted from written submissions, translated and annotated, with a summary by

Marshall Beck

 

Download full document (pdf)

return to top of page

 

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, November 2007

 

THEY CAME IN SHIPS:

IMPERIALISM, MIGRATION AND ASIAN DIASPORAS

IN THE 19TH CENTURY

 

The Seventh Jagan Lecture

Presented at York University on October 20, 2007

by
Walton Look Lai
(Retired Lecturer of History, University of the West Indies in Trinidad)

 

ABSTRACT

In this paper, Walton Look Lai develops a comparative overview of the pattern of East and South Asian labour migrations in the 19th century as both groups were steadily integrated into the expanding Atlantic world economy. He explores their respective push factors and destinations, the various mechanisms under which their labour was engaged, the relative issues of freedom/unfreedom attached to their engagement, the patterns of reception and treatment in their various host countries, and finally, their comparative mobility and assimilation options and choices in their host countries.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page
 

 


 

 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, November 2007

 

SWEET & SOUR SAUCE:

SEXUAL POLITICS IN JAMAICAN DANCEHALL CULTURE

 

The Sixth Jagan Lecture

Presented at York University on October 22, 2005

by
Carolyn Cooper
(Department of Literary and Cultural Studies, University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica)

 

ABSTRACT

In this lecture, Carolyn Cooper explores sexual politics in Jamaican dancehall culture, arguing transgressively for the freedom of women to claim a self-pleasuring sexual identity that may even be explicitly homoerotic.  She analyzes particular contemporary music and movements of Jamaican women in dancehalls, and explores the credentialising of sexual orientation in Jamaican culture.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page
 


 

CERLAC REPORT, October 2005

 

THE REMITTANCE SENDING PRACTICES
OF HAITIANS AND JAMAICANS IN CANADA

 

by:
Alan Simmons (CERLAC, York University) - Email: asimmons@yorku.ca
Dwaine Plaza (Oregon State University, Corvalis)
Victor Piché (University of Montreal and Action Canada for Population and Development)

 

ABSTRACT

This report examines 2005 survey findings on the amounts, frequency and transfer costs of remittances sent by Haitian immigrants in Montreal and Jamaican immigrants in Toronto to family members in their places of origin.  The findings indicate that the median amount sent in a given transfer is approximately $200.00.  Most households transfer money several times a year, with the result that households typically transfer about $1,000 to $1,400 per year.  While remitters use various channels to deliver the money, they rely overwhelmingly on money transfer agencies.  Survey respondents report that they like the speed, convenience and security of money transfer agencies.  At the same time they feel that transfer fees are "high" and constitute a disincentive to transfer money with the frequency they would like.  The findings point to several opportunities for developing initiatives and policies that would facilitate remittance transfers and their positive impacts.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page
 
 




 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, May 2005

 

 

CUERNAVACA DECLARATION
ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT, 2005

 

A workshop titled 

"Problems and Challenges of Migration and Development in the Americas"
Held in Cuernavaca, Mexico from April 7-9, 2005

 

ABSTRACT

This event was co-sponsored by the International Migration and Development Network, the Regional Centre for Multidisciplinary Research of the UNAM, and the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) of York University (Canada). The workshop was designed as a forum where academics and other experts, government functionaries and migrant organization leaders could engage in critical discussions about the impact of international migration on the dynamics of development in labor sending and receiving countries of our continent. This declaration was produced in order to disseminate the key points agreed upon in the workshop.  The Spanish version is available by following the 'Noticias' link at the International Migration and Development Network (Red Internacional de Migración y Desarrollo, RIMD).

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 



 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES, February 2010
 

 

Eating Your Words:
Examining, Deconstructing and Decolonizing the Word Cannibal

 

by:
Leah Stewart
Humanities, York University
Email: yu244242@yorku.ca

 

ABSTRACT

The colonization of the Americas can trace its way back to the word cannibal. This one word, which was spoken in a moment between strangers, ushered in an entire world along with European contact. Used first as a descriptor of a misunderstood signified, the word soon came to be a synonym for “indigenous Caribbean person” and in time to be the sign for a type of “savage” indignity that opposed colonial authority. By examining the word cannibal in a socio-linguistic, historical and literary context this paper will show that post-colonial deconstructions of the colonial legacy ought to properly begin with a decolonization and deconstruction of the word cannibal. The importance of this work lies in the fact that the word continues to be used as a sign and as a signifier that has never actually existed, except within the minds of people who supported colonial rule. This is inherently problematic for both indigenous people in particular and for Caribbean people as a whole.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 




 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES, May 2005
 

RURAL MARKETS, REVOLUTIONARY SOULS, AND REBELLIOUS WOMEN
IN COLD WAR GUATEMALA

 

by:
Carlota McAllister
Dept. of Anthropology, York University
Email: carlota@yorku.ca

 

ABSTRACT

This paper challenges views of the Cold War as a kind of strategic game waged exclusively within high-level circles of power in Washington and Moscow. Using the case of a 1979 uprising staged by Mayan women against a Guatemalan army incursion in the marketplace of Chupol, a small, rural community by the side of the Panamerican highway, I argue that Cold War developmentalism, instead of producing an “anti-political” effect on Chupolenses, granted efficacy to their powers of calculation by targeting rural people like them for incorporation into “the market” of economic theory with interventions like the construction of the Panamerican highway and rural marketplaces. Applying these powers to their own particular situation, including their long-standing engagement in marketing activities as the traditional travelling merchants of the Guatemalan highlands and their historical claim on spirituality as charges of the colonial Catholic Church, Chupolenses made calculations quite contrary to those Cold War developmentalists expected: they became some of the most militant rural supporters of Guatemala’s revolutionary movement. This paper explains this process to show how people like Chupolense women became Cold War actors despite—or indeed, because of—their distance from the centres of Cold War strategizing.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page
 





 

UCGS PUBLICATION SERIES, September 2004
 

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS & GLOBALIZATION:
RESISTANCE OR ENGAGEMENT

 

A workshop organized by the University Consortium on the Global South
in Founders College, York University, on April 2, 2004
 

ABSTRACT

This workshop was the kickoff event for York's University Consortium on the Global South (UCGS), bringing together faculty and graduate students from throughout York and beyond, as well as community activists and journalists. The day consisted of two panel presentations and discussions exploring issues and research questions related to social movements, and a business meeting in which participants engaged in a lively debate about how to bring the Consortium to life.  The four main themes that ran through the panel discussions were: 1) the contradictions and tensions in social movements and the terms and discourses around them; 2) processes of NGO-ization and demobilization; 3) the relationships and roles of researchers, journalists and activists in the North and the South; and 4) the relationship of social movements to power and the state.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page
 

 




 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES, August 2004
 

THE MEANING OF EFFICIENCY

 

by:
Louis Lefeber and Thomas Vietorisz

 

ABSTRACT

Policy implementation within a democratic society calls for efficiency. But because policy concerns range over broad social and political-economic areas, it must be recognized that the efficient pursuit of one particular goal may conflict with the realization of some other, equally important social interest. Hence, efficiency for its own sake cannot be a policy goal. This paper discusses the problems and complexities that arise in the pursuit of equity, stabilization, markets and trade, as well as the issues of social and environmental sustainability. Starting with the limitations of market efficiency when conventional requirements of social welfare are taken into account, it is argued that a more meaningful concept of social efficiency can be obtained with the help of the social development indicators elaborated by the UNDP, augmented by the sustainability indicators developed by the European Union during the last decade.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page



 

 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, April 2004

 

THE DISAPPEARING ISLAND:
HAITI, HISTORY, AND THE HEMISPHERE

 

The Fifth Jagan Lecture and the Third Michael Baptista Lecture
Presented at York University on March 20, 2004

by
J. Michael Dash
(Professor of Francophone Literature and Director of Africana Studies, New York University)

 

ABSTRACT

In this lecture, J. Michael Dash explores Haiti’s symbolic destiny, in an effort to “free” Haiti from being relegated symbolically to the margins of world history. He argues for an understanding of the Haitian Revolution as both a foundational moment in modern universalist thought and a point of origin for postcolonial Caribbean societies, one which privileges global interaction and transcends ethnocentric models of nation, race, and identity.  In the spirited question period, also captured here, the circumstances of former President Aristide’s recent departure from office, the complexities of internal Haitian politics, and the regional and international context are debated.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page
 



 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, April 2004

 

FAIR TRADE
ECONOMIC JUSTICE, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
AND CULTURAL IDENTITY IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

 

A workshop organized by the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean
(CERLAC- York University) in Founders College, York University, on February 5th, 2004

Report prepared
by
Gavin Fridell and Vivian Jimenez

 

ABSTRACT

This day-long workshop was organized as a defining event of 2004 International Development Week activities at York University.  Fair trade - a network that seeks to support small producers in less developed countries with a more socially just and ecologically sustainable alternative to mainstream trade - has grown rapidly over the past decade. As a reflection of its increasing importance, a “Fair Trade @ York” campaign was formed with the goal of encouraging the university to adopt a fair trade policy.  Members of the campaign, along with a coalition of other groups, organized this workshop to bring together a range of students, academics, activists and fair traders from Canada and the United States to share ideas on fair trade and to discuss future strategies.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, April 2004

 

LANGUAGE AND THE POLITICS OF ETHNICITY
IN THE CARIBBEAN

 

The Fourth Annual Jagan Lecture
Presented at York University on March 2, 2002

by
George Lamming
(renowned author, lecturer, and commentator from Barbados)

 

ABSTRACT

This lecture was given by the renowned Caribbean writer and intellect George Lamming as part of the Jagan Lecture Series commemorating the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan.  Lamming looks at the problem of ethnicity - and especially of relations between Africans and Indians in the territories where they form almost equal populations, namely Guyana and Trinidad - from multiple perspectives. He recalls dramatizing strategies employed by the old colonial power in this region, strategies that are still used today by contemporary politicians.  He proposes that race and ethnicity are socially constructed categories, and draws upon many Barbadian examples to illustrate the absurdity of racial prejudice in a Caribbean context where cultural miscegenation is so deep, and where habits of perception, accents, and tastes are so mixed, that wearing several categories of identity at once is common to all.  His conclusion, however, is that, far from being a curse, the challenges of cultural, linguistic and racial/ethnic diversity faced by the Caribbean constitute part of the wealth of the region, as amply demonstrated by its cultural workers, and its distinct traditions and peoples.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page



 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, April 2004

 

RACE, CLASS AND ETHNICITY:
A CARIBBEAN INTERPRETATION

 

The Third Annual Jagan Lecture
presented at York University on March 3, 2001

by
Lloyd Best
Director, Trinidad and Tobago Institute of the West Indies
Publisher, Managing Editor, Trinidad & Tobago Review
CEO, Trinidad and Tobago International Business and Economics Consulting

 

ABSTRACT

"From Belize and Havana to Cayenne and Paramaribo, there is currently a crisis of Caribbean civilization...." Thus begins this unflinching analysis of Lloyd Best into the present Caribbean politico-cultural malaise - an analysis in which no historical figure or ideology is deemed beyond the need for critical reassessment, and in which the urgent need for a creative new departure is emphasized. Asserting that the promise of independence in the Caribbean was never realized, Best calls for a new beginning that eschews the superimposition of imported theories, values, and knowledge. He implores the people of the Caribbean, instead, to creatively seek a new understanding of their region in order that it may become, in Best’s phraseology, its "own first world".

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page



 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, March 2004

 

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION IN THE AMERICAS:
EMERGING ISSUES

 

 A conference organized by the  Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean
(CERLAC- York University) September 19-20, 2003 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Report prepared by
Paola Bohórquez and Susan Spronk

 

ABSTRACT

This report summarizes the discussion of a conference held at York University September 19-20, 2003. The event brought together scholars (faculty and graduate students) and se-lected activists and members of NGOs to discuss policy and research agendas related to international migration, with a particular focus on the Americas.  The principal themes that emerged were: 1) the way that identities such as gender and race shape and are shaped by international migration; 2) the impact of international migration on political, social, and economic development, especially in the sending countries; and 3) the role of the state in the regulation and criminalization of international migration.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page



 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, January 2004

 

GLOBALIZATION AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS:
A BRAZILIAN PERSPECTIVE

 

 A public lecture by João Pedro Stedile of the MST (Landless Workers Movement) of Brazil,
held at O.I.S.E Auditorium, Toronto, October 20, 2003

 

ABSTRACT

On October 20, 2003, one of the leading spokespersons of the MST (Landless Workers Movement) of Brazil, João Pedro Stedile, presented this public lecture in Toronto. Mr. Stedile provided an over-view of the present crisis of neoliberalism, gauging the strategic responses of dominant institutions to this crisis as well as the challenges and opportunities that the moment affords for social movements mobilizing for progressive change.  More specific political questions, regarding the situation in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America, received attention in the question period and are discussed in the appendices, which are comprised of press coverage and interviews derived from Mr. Stedile’s presence in Toronto.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page



 


CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES, June, 2003

 

RURAL LAND CONFLICTS
AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN ECUADOR

 

An earlier version of this work was presented by Liisa L. North and Wade A. Kit at the Meetings of the Ca-nadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS), Ottawa, Carleton University, Sep-tember 30-October 2, 1999. A synthetic version of this work is also available in Liisa L. North and John D. Cameron (2003).

 

By:
Liisa L. North, Wade A. Kit, and Rob Koep
 

 

ABSTRACT

During the last two decades of the 20th century, Ecuador appeared to be an island of peace in the midst of the violence that engulfed her neighbors to the south and the north. A closer examination of events, however, reveals that Ecuador was not immune to persistent human rights abuses and violence on the part of public security forces and private armed groups in the employ of the powerful.

Following a brief description of the rural context of failed agrarian reform within which violence and abuses take place in rural Latin America in general and in Ecuador specifically, this paper uses data com-piled by the Ecumenical Commission Of Human Rights to analyze land conflict related human rights abuses and changes in their frequency in the three principal regions of Ecuador. It offers an interpretation for the variations in conflict frequency and rights abuses in relation to state policies, indigenous protest, and initiatives taken by NGOs.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page



 

 

CERLAC DOCUMENT, April 2003

 

MAJOR INSTITUTIONAL LINKAGES
OF CERLAC IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

 

2nd Edition - partly up-dated from the 1996 version

Compiled by Liisa North
with the assistance of Christina Polzot

 

ABSTRACT

This document summarizes major institutional linkages of CERLAC with Latin American and Caribbean institutions. The institutions included here are of two kinds: (1) those with which CERLAC has developed joint projects in teaching and / or research and (2) those with which periodic or ongoing exchanges of faculty and /or students have taken place.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page



 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES, March 2003

 

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN AFTER SEPTEMBER 11:
POVERTY, CRISIS, AND INSECURITY

 

 Workshop organized by CERLAC
held at York University February 8, 2002

 

Report prepared by
Aileen Cowan

 

ABSTRACT

The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) organized this one-day workshop to discuss the implications of the events of September 11th and the ensuing ‘war on terrorism’ for Latin America and the Caribbean.  Set within the context of International Development Week at York University, the workshop centred upon the keynote address of Alejandro Bendaña, a noted Nicaraguan intellectual and social activist, and sought to generate debate on the regional impact of September 11th. Includes pieces on: Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, the US and the Global Economy.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES February, 2003

 

RE-THINKING REMITTANCES: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSIONS OF INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE REMITTANCES

Under review.

By: Luin Goldring 

Dept. of Sociology, York University 

 

ABSTRACT

The development potential of remittances has become a “hot” topic in various circles. There are several reasons for the surge in interest, including the dramatic increase in official remittance figures, and economic and political crises in migrant- and refugee-exporting countries. In this context, it is worth revisiting earlier debates on the development potential of remittances, which reached an impasse in the early 1990s. This paper attempts to push discussions beyond that impasse by making two main arguments. One involves recognizing and taking into account extra-economic dimensions of remittances, particularly the social and political meanings and uses of remittances. The second is based on a disaggregation of different types of remittances. Using Mexico as a case study, family versus collective remittances are compared and found to differ quite significantly in five areas. It is argued that the organizational experience and institutional development associated with certain examples of collective remittances can be interpreted as a form of development, one involving the expansion of substantive citizenship in a transnational context, though not without contradictions and limitations.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES January, 2003

 

FAIR TRADE AND THE INTERNATIONAL MORAL ECONOMY: WITHIN AND AGAINST THE MARKET

 

Forthcoming in an edited volume on global citizenship and environmental justice edited by John Robinson and Tony Shallcross published by Rodopi: Amsterdam/New York

By:

Gavin Fridell Ph.D. 

Candidate, Department of Political Science York University gfridell@yorku.ca

 

ABSTRACT

This article is about the fair trade network that has developed over the past twenty years in response to the negative impact of globalization; in most underdeveloped countries, this impact has taken the form of increased underemployment, poverty, and inequality. Fair traders seek to combat the injustices of global capitalism by promoting the principles of democratic organization; no child labor; recognized trade unions for workers; and environmental sustainability. The article argues that fair trade represents the founding of a nascent international moral economy which unites producers and consumers to demand greater social and ecological justice than the imperatives of the market allow. It remains to be seen, however, if fair trade’s ethical goals can withstand the various pressures that the global market imposes upon it.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES January 2003

 

CANADIAN MINING COMPANIES IN LATIN AMERICA: COMMUNITY RIGHTS AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBIILITY

 

Conference organized by CERLAC and MiningWatch Canada held at York University May 9 - 11, 2002

Report prepared by

Tim Clark

 

ABSTRACT

The 1990s witnessed an enormous expansion in the activities of Canadian mining companies throughout Central and South America, bringing profound socio-economic change and conflict to numerous rural communities. This conference addressed the tension between community rights and corporate social responsibility in the context of Canadian mining investment in Latin America, providing an alternative forum to the mining industry conference organized for the same week in Toronto. Three main themes characterized the discussion: the role of the state in organizing mineral extraction; the tension between the developmental priorities of workers and communities on the one hand and mining investors on the other; and the means by which civil society actors throughout the Americas might assert greater influence over decisions relating to regional mining investment.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES July 2002

 

COLOMBIA: INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT AND HUMANITARIAN CRISIS 2001 

 

Michael Baptista Lecture held at York University Wednesday the 23rd of May, 2001

by Amanda Romero-Medina

 

ABSTRACT

Colombia has received increasing international attention in the past three years in response to the deterioration in the internal war that has affected the country for more than forty years. However, the myth that violence in Colombia is largely due to drug trafficking has served to mask the complex historical and political components of an armed conflict that currently represents the most critical issue in the hemisphere.

This paper begins by analyzing one of the most pressing issues of the Colombian conflict: the internal displacement of poor Colombians, its causes and characteristics, and the responses by several actors in society. It relates internal displacement to human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by different parties in the conflict.

The paper moves on to discuss current problems with the peace process that have developed in tandem with the implementation of Plan Colombia, an ambitious programme based on the assumption that Colombia’s problems are due to the negative effects of drug trafficking. In this context, the paper considers the problematic responses to the Pastrana administration’s appeal for international co-operation, giving particular attention to the concerns of ethnic minorities in Colombia and to the economic interests behind the "war on drugs". It concludes by presenting recommendations from civil society organizations working to overcome Colombia’s long-running conflict.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 

 


 

CERLAC OCCASIONAL PAPERS SERIES February 2002

 

WOMEN AND POLICING IN LATIN AMERICA:

AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

by

 

Nadine Jubb

Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University

 

and

 

Wânia Pasinato Izumino

Núcleo de Estudos da Violência, Universidade de São Paulo (NEV/USP), Brazil

 

This document was prepared for the “Women and Policing in Latin America” Project – Phase One.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 

 


 

CERLAC OCCASIONAL PAPERS SERIES February 2002

 

WOMEN AND POLICING IN LATIN AMERICA:

A REVISED BACKGROUND PAPER

 

by

 

Nadine Jubb

Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University

 

and

 

Wânia Pasinato Izumino

Núcleo de Estudos da Violência, Universidade de São Paulo (NEV/USP), Brazil

 

This document was prepared for the “Women and Policing in Latin America” Project – Phase One.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 

 


 

CERLAC OCCASIONAL PAPERS SERIES February 2002

 

MUJERES Y SERVICIOS POLICIALES EN AMÉRICA LATINA

UN DOCUMENTO DE REFERENCIA REVISADO

 

por

 

Nadine Jubb

Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University

 

y

 

Wânia Pasinato Izumino

Núcleo de Estudos da Violência, Universidade de São Paulo (NEV/USP), Brazil

 

Este documento fue elaborado para el Proyecto “Mujeres y Servicios Policiales en América Latina” – Primera Etapa

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES January 2002

 

VIOLENCE AND PEACE-BUILDING IN COLOMBIA 

 

Conference held at York University May 24-25, 2001

Report prepared by 

Sabine Neidhardt and Sheila Simpkins

 

ABSTRACT

Organized by the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University (CERLAC) and the Nathanson Center for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption, the conference on “Violence and Peace-building in Colombia” convened social and human rights activists, academics, and policy-makers at York University on May 24 and 25, 2001, for the purpose of encouraging dialogue on the crisis facing Colombia. The aim was not only to dissect the structural causes of violence and conflict in this country, but also to explore policy options.

The conference panelists and participants, while offering their own analytical perspectives on the conflict and on the US-inspired Plan Colombia, agreed unanimously that to view the crisis in Colombia through the lens of the drug trade tells us very little about the complexities of the on-going struggle. Only an analysis that takes into account the economic, social, political, geographical, and cultural dynamics at play within Colombian society will allow policy-makers and activists to push for just and lasting solutions.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPERS SERIES November 2002

 

FUELING WAR: The Impact of Canadian Oil Investment on the Conflict in Colombia 

 

Scott Pearce M.A. 

Political Science York University.

 

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the contentious relationship between foreign investment and political violence in Colombia. In particular, it examines the impact of Canadian oil investment on the armed conflict. In the past two years, there has been a veritable flood of Canadian oil companies to Colombia, many of which are involved in oil exploration and development in regions of the country where conflict is most intense. Indeed, there appears to be a strong correlation between regions of mineral wealth and regions of political conflict. Are Canadian oil companies contributing to the escalation of political violence? Is it possible for even well intentioned companies to conduct themselves ethically in the midst of a war?

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPERS SERIES July 2001

 

ARTICULATING AND FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHTS: Examples of the Canadian Women’s Movement’s Experience in Advocacy

 

Nadine Jubb

Ph.D. candidate, Political Science 

York University. 

 

ABSTRACT

The author addresses the issue of advocacy from the women’s movement perspective. She maintains that advocacy can be described as a three-stage process that includes relationships within the movement, between the movement and outside forces, and between the movement and the state. While many similarities can be found between the problems and situations faced by Canadian, Central, and Latin American women, this paper examines the advocacy issue primarily from a Canadian perspective. Moreover, particular focus is places on three examples with the Canadian women’s movement advocacy experience: the National Action Committee; the preparation of the Alternative Federal Budget; and the struggle for equal pay. Each example is examined within the context of each of the three stages of the advocacy process.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPERS SERIES June 2001

 

RECLAIMING AFRICAN RELIGIONS IN TRINIDAD: THE ORISHA AND SPIRITUAL BAPTIST FAITHS TODAY

 

Dr. Frances Henry,

 Professor Emerita,

 York University and Lecturer, University of the West Indies. 

 

ABSTRACT

This paper is based on a three-year ethnographic study of the Orisha movement and the Spiritual Baptist faith in Trinidad and Tobago. It reflects a life long research interest since the author first began studying Orisha, then known as the Shango cult, in 1956. The paper focuses on the growing political and social legitimation of African derived religions in Trinidad society, and on the dynamics of change with respect to the challenge of authenticity within the Orisha religion as well as their growing administrative and centralized infrastructure.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPERS SERIES April 2001

 

UNIONS AND THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA): The Canadian and Mexican Experiences

 

Cirila Quintero Ramírez 

El Colegio de la Frontera Norte Dirección Regional de Matamoros. 

 

ABSTRACT

The author outlines some findings from her comparative study of the Canadian and Mexican automotive industries in the NAFTA era. Her central objective is to point out the social effects of this commercial agreement on both countries. From a historical-sociological perspective, she presents NAFTA as the continuation of a process that began in the late fifties, emphasizing the centrality of historical conditions, especially governmental economic policies and the status of labour relations.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPERS SERIES May 2000

 

GUATEMALA'S PEACE ACCORDS IN A FREE TRADE AREA OF THE AMERICAS

 

Gus Van Harten

York Unviersity 

 

ABSTRACT

Future Guatemalan governments would find it more difficult, under an FTAA investment regime, to carry out policies mandated by the peace accords. In particular, it would be more difficult to implement a range of policies designed to address land issues in Guatemala, which are at the heart of rural crisis and ongoing conflict in the country. These include policies to: (1) facilitate access to land and encourage the productive use of land, (2) resolve land conflicts and provide security of land tenure, and (3) promote indigenous land rights. Under an FTAA, these polices would potentially conflict with high standards of investor protection, such as broad notions of national treatment, compensation for expropriation of assets, and a prohibition on performance requirements. Importantly, investors may be able to directly sue governments for perceived violations of their investor protections under the FTAA. The broad impact of an FTAA investment agreement, therefore, could be to place a new layer of constraint on the “freedom of action” available to Guatemala governments seeking to implement the peace accords.

This paper was awarded the 1999 Graduate Level Baptista Essay Prize.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES December 1999

 

FROM HASTINGS STREET TO MEDELLIN: CANADA AND ISSUES IN INTER-AMERICAN NARCOTRAFFICKING

 

Jim Rochlin Okanagan

 University College 2575

 Johnson Road Kelowna,

 British Columbia Canada

 V1W 2R6

 Phone: (250) 762-5445 ext.7388 

Fax: (250) 470-6001 

 

ABSTRACT

Together with speculation, a central component of post-modern economics is the significance of the informal or underground economy. Exemplary of this is the immense illicit drug trade. Its presence is obvious in countries such as Mexico and especially Colombia, but it also thrives in a more hidden and unspoken manner in Canada. This industry should be examined within the context of the stream of associated power, which flows through local, national and global spaces. In hemispheric affairs, a ‘crisis’ of narcotrafficking has been constructed to mask the political and military aspirations of Washington. Ironically, the origin of the most serious ill effects linked to the ‘crisis’ is actually the prohibition of drugs, rather than the drug usage itself.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES November 1999

 

WEAK WEAPONS, STRONG WEAPONS? HIDDEN RESISTANCE AND POLITICAL PROTEST IN RURAL ECUADOR

 

Tanya Korovkin 

Department of Political Science 

University of Waterloo 

Waterloo, ON N2J 4J1

 Tel: (519) 888-4567 ext2143

Forthcoming in: Journal of Peasant Studies

 

ABSTRACT

The article critically applies the theory of everyday forms of peasant resistance (EFPR) to an analysis of land struggles in Ecuadorean Andes. It explores the effectiveness of weapons of the weak used by indigenous peasants in conflicts with the haciendas. The relationship between hidden resistance and the rise of political organization is also examined. Special attention is paid to the structural context and cultural underpinning

 of both covert and overt peasant action.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES January 1999

 

DEMOCRATIZATION AND POPULAR WOMEN'S POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS

 

Cathy Blacklock 

Professional Consultant

 #2 - 318 Palmerston Blvd. 

Toronto, Ont. M6G 2N6 

Tel: (416) 972 6112 

Fax: (416) 972 7524 

 

ABSTRACT

This paper analyses the unprecedented growth of popular women's organizations in Guatemala through the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is argued that although the economic crisis and violent repression which accompanied democratization did cause destabilization of women's socially constructed gender roles this did not lead to a mass-based political mobilization of women. To understand the top-down formation process of popular women's organizations which has occurred it is crucial to consider the strategic orientation of the popular movement in the context of democratization, as well as the growing influence of feminism and the international women's movement. The paper concludes with a discussion of the general characteristics of the organizations which emphasizes their political location within the popular movement.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES September, 1998

 

THE DIASPORIC MO(VE)MENT: INDENTURESHIP AND INDO-CARIBBEAN IDENTITY

 

Sean Lokaisingh-Meighoo

Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought 

S-714-A Ross Building,

 York University

 Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

 Tel: (416) 736-5320 

Prepared for publication in Patrick Taylor (ed.), Nation Dance: Religion, Identity and Cultural Difference in the Caribbean.

 

ABSTRACT

This paper is organized around the concept of the diasporic mo(ve)ment - both a moment in time and a movement in space, that historical and cultural point of rupture between diaspora and home. It begins by posting diaspora as a style, or "signifying practice" following the work of Dick Hebdige, of identity formation. In approaching the ontological meaning articulated in this style, the relationship between diaspora and modernity is then considered, following the works of C.L.R. James, Cornel West and Paul Gilroy on what is termed in this paper "black modernity". Turning towards the Indo-Caribbean diaspora in particular, the formation of Indo-Caribbean identity is addressed next in relation to South Asian and Afro-Caribbean diasporic identities. Addressing the peculiar sense of "doubled diaspora" in both Indo- and Afro-Caribbean identities, the paper concludes by returning to a theoretical proposition for the articulation of "critical difference" in diaspora. A critique of the emerging academic field of Inod-Caribbean studies is initiated in attending to the relationship between indentureship and slavery in Indo-Caribbean scholarship and culture.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC REPORT November, 1998

 

Organization of American States Youth Internship Program

 

REPORT: PRE-INTERNSHIP WORKSHOP 

 

August 24 - September 2, 1998

Compiled by

Alejandra Roncallo

 CERLAC, York University,

 Toronto, Ontario

 Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 

 

ABSTRACT

The CERLAC/OAS/DFAIT Youth Internship Program was designed to deepen the understanding of Canadian youth of multilateral issues affecting the Western Hemisphere by offering a five month internship at the Organization of American States, funded by Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada. Targeted at recent university graduates of proven academic merit and personal suitability, the internships were provided on a competitive basis. A pre-internship workshop was held at CERLAC between August 24 and September 2, 1998, with the purposes of: fostering personal and intra-group relations; understanding formal versus cultural protocols; advance logistics preparation and information; and learn about the OAS and Canada's role in the Americas.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES July, 1998

 

CONGREGATIONALISM AND AFRO-GUIANESE AUTONOMY

 

Juanita De Barros

Department of History

 York University

Toronto, Ontario

Tel: (416) 736-2100 ext. 40626 

Prepared for publication in Patrick Taylor (ed.), Nation Dance: Religion, Identity and Cultural Difference in the Caribbean.

 

ABSTRACT

As Afro-Guianese Congregationalists tried to negotiate some freedom within colonial Guianese society, they demonstrated the oppositional value of Congregationalism as providing an alternative vision of social order. Yet this vision had a conservative cast and suggested an adherence to a Congregationalism where the traditional verities reigned.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES July, 1998

 

SANFANCÓN: ORIENTALISM, CONFUCIANISM AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF CHINESENESS IN CUBA, 1847 - 1997

 

Frank F. Scherer

Department of Anthropology,

York University

 Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3

 Tel: (416) 516-6299 

Fax: (416) 530-4459 

Prepared for publication in Patrick Taylor (ed.), Nation Dance: Religion, Identity and Cultural Difference in the Caribbean.

 

ABSTRACT

The recent revival of "Chinese" ethnicity in Cuba is based both on a number of classic, Euro-American Orientalist assumptions of a distinctive and essential Chineseness, and on the "Oriental" use of Orientalist discourse which perfectly illustrates the "indigenous" employment of what I call strategic Orientalism. While the former is being promoted, somewhat ambiguously, by the Cuban state and its intelligentsia, the latter is articulated by first- and second-generation Chinese Cubans. In this way, the very process of reintegrating, re-creating, and re-ethnicizing the Chinese Cuban "community" is marked by the peculiar practice of self-Orientalization. Furthermore, the phenomenon of self-Orientalization feeds, apparently, not only into familiar Euro-American Orientalist discursive formations, but also on the revival of "Chinese religion" in Cuba, and with it, on the recent remobilization of the Chinese Cuban "saint" Sanfancón. In all, the overt reappearance of Orientalism, self-Orientalization and "Chinese religion" in Cuba remain inextricably linked to the profound ideological, political, economic, social and cultural transformations that the island is currently undergoing.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

 CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES March 1998

 

AGRICULTURAL POLICIES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN ECUADOR: A CRITIQUE OF ESTABLISHMENTARIAN POLICIES

 

Louis Lefeber

 CERLAC,

 240 York Lanes, York University 

North York, Toronto, Ontario 

M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-2100 ext. 33192,

 fax: (416) 736-5737 

 

ABSTRACT

This paper is a review article concerning rural development in Ecuador. As such, it brings into focus the differences between two conflicting views about policy approaches: the establishmentarian position and what the author of this essay believes to be a reasonable and feasible policy alternative. It demonstrates that the establishmentarian policies introduced in Ecuador have been a failure that has lead to the further impoverishment of the population at large; that the key to economic advancement is to motivate rural development combined with means for increasing the purchasing power of the low income population; that policies for assisting commercial agriculture are ineffective for the relief of the large and growing marginal farm sector; and that land reform and employment creation through rural public works are called for.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES April 1997

 

STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT IN MEXICO AND THE DOG THAT DIDN'T BARK

 

Judith Adler Hellman

Department of Political and Social Science

133 Founders College, York University

North York, Toronto, Ontario 

M3J 1P3 

Tel: 736-5148 ext: 44087 

 

ABSTRACT

Neoliberal strategies and structural adjustment programs have devastated whole sectors of the Mexican people. Yet the uneven level of mobilization in civil society and the repression of independent labour unions' efforts to mobilize members around wage issues have meant that organized responses to austerity have been partial, sporadic, often uncoordinated, and limited in impact. Moreover, in contrast with Nicaragua or Costa Rica, in Mexico the candidate and political party that articulated the critique of structural adjustment garnered wide support, absorbed social movement activity into an electoral challenge, but was not permitted to take office. Eventually, however, the uprising in Chiapas and the increasingly widespread, coordinated and effective protest activities of El Barzon, created a new form of challenge to neoliberalism.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES May, 1996

 

TO WHOM SHALL THE NATION BELONG? THE GENDER AND ETHNIC DIMENSIONS OF REFUGEE RETURN AND STRUGGLES FOR PEACE IN GUATEMALA

 

Alison Crosby 

Centre for Refugee Studies 

322 York Lanes, York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3

 

ABSTRACT

While the Guatemalan peace accords certainly an end to the civil war, they are only a starting point. In effect, the profound transformation of social and political organization necessary to counteract and dismantle a culture of fear created by decades of militarized violence will require the construction of a new Guatemalan nation. Whose images of the new nation will be taken into account in such a construction? This paper addresses this question on the basis of an exploratory analysis of imaginings and narratives of nation in Guatemala. The study focuses on counter-narratives, that is the constructions of nation being developed by indigenous peoples, women, the poor and the politically disenfranchised -- groups whose views have been suppressed and ignored in the past. In particular, the gendered experiences of exile and return as transformation processes are examined. A central argument is how the interaction of organized refugee women with their own return communities and with non-returnee women in the popular movement can illuminate the possibilities for spaces for transformation within Guatemalan society in the context of a post-war era.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES May, 1996

 

"SOMOS DE LA TIERRA" LAND AND THE GUATEMALA REFUGEE RETURN

 

Brian Egan 

Research Consultant Praxis Research and Communication 

2311 Amherst Avenue Victoria,

British Columbia, Canada, V8L 2G8

 

ABSTRACT

January 1993 marked the beginning of the return of Guatemalan refugees from Mexico on a large scale and in an organized, voluntary and collective manner. In contrast to earlier repatriations under a government sponsored program, the returns which began in 1993 were organized by the refugees themselves and took place under a set of accords signed between the refugee leadership and the Guatemalan government. These accords were designed to facilitate the return of the 46,000 refugees living in camps in southern Mexico on a large scale -- the refugees themselves predicted that some 15,000 refugees would return in 1993 alone. However, the return has proceeded much slower than expected. Less than 4,000 refugees returned in 1993 and by October 1994 only 7,000 had returned in 5 collective returns. There were a number of reasons for the slow pace of return, including continued concern on the part of the refugees about security issues. The massacre of 11 returned refugees in Xaman, Alta Verapaz shows that these concerns are justifiable. Another major reason for the slow pace of return, is associated with the land issue. Most of the refugees are small farmers of Maya descent who seek to return to an agricultural lifestyle in their homeland and thus need to secure access to productive land. In terms of the land issue, the returning refugees fall into two categories. In the first category are refugees who had land when they fled Guatemala and are now trying to regain their lands. In the second category are refugees who have no land and need to find and purchase suitable tracts of land. The problems faced by those in the first category are related to the fact that, in many cases, their lands have been taken over by other farmers, often encouraged to do so by the Guatemalan military. The problems faced by the second category relate mainly to trying to find large tracts of good land at an affordable price. Refugees in both categories are returning to face very difficult conditions, not the least of which is the difficulty of returning to highly militarized zones of conflict. Despite these difficulties, the refugee leadership have cast their return as part of the broader struggle for peace, justice and democratic development in Guatemala. The success of this larger struggle will largely determine the success of the refugee return.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES May, 1996

 

OPTIMAL POLICY-MAKING? THE INSULATED TECHNOCRACY ARGUMENT AND THE CASE OF THE SALINAS ADMINISTRATION IN MEXICO

 

Thomas Legler 

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes 

Dept. of Political Science, 

S633 Ross Building 

York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3

 

ABSTRACT

It is common for scholars to prescribe an insulated technocracy as a prerequisite for successful economic and political reforms. This paper uses the benefit of hindsight --an examination of the Salinas administration (1988-1994)-- to challenge critically the elitist, top-down and technocratic vision of policy-making prevalent in much of the mainstream literature. True to the conventional wisdom, an insulated, technocratic elite managed the reform process in Mexico. However, instead of leading to the political sustainability and economic success of the reforms, this decision-making style contributed greatly to Mexico's current political and economic crises. With the decline of the post-revolutionary compromise and in the absence of democratic counterweights, Salinas' tecnócratas enjoyed unprecedented policy space. The Mexican experience points to the need to examine the "modernizing" role of technocratic elites in developing countries in a more critical fashion. The Salinas legacy also raises the imperative for democratization; rather than being insulated, economic policy-making must become more democratically embedded.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES February, 1996

 

GUATEMALAN REFUGEES AND RETURNEES: LOCAL GEOGRAPHY AND MAYA IDENTITY

 

Catherine L. Nolin Hanlon 

Queen's University Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

 

ABSTRACT

The vast majority of Guatemalan refugees in Mexico are Maya Indians from various regions of the country. The aim of this research is to examine the pattern of displacement from these diverse regions in the early 1980s and contemporary avenues of return for the Guatemalan Maya, with particular emphasis on the refugees' choice of resettlement location and government and military intervention. Documents produced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Mexican and Guatemalan government organizations created to facilitate the return process, were examined along with reports and communiques issued by the representatives of the Guatemalan refugees in Mexico. Also, human rights workers and members of non-governmental organizations working in Mexico were interviewed for their critical analysis of the return process and insight into the motivating factors influencing the decision-making by the refugees.

At every stage in the process of flight, exile, and return, expressions and representations of Maya identity illuminate the complex web of cultural continuity and change. One of the most compelling conclusion of this research is that the meaning of "being Maya" differs between individuals in different times and different places and that a metamorphosis of identity is evident according to two factors: (1) as the sites of representation shift from rural Guatemala to exile abroad; and (2) as time passes. The primacy of place in the construction and representation of Maya identity is highlighted to reveal the intimate connection the Maya have with ancestral land or land they have transformed by labour, a bond strong enough to pull Maya refugees home to often precarious resettlement conditions.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES January 1996

 

CHANGING AGRARIAN INSTITUTIONS: INTERPRETING THE CONTRADICTIONS

 

Kirsten Appendini 

El Colegio de México, 

Camino Al Ajusco No. 20 

Pedregal de Sta. Teresa, 

Codigo Postal 01000, Mexico, D.F. 

Tel: 645-59-55 

Fax: 645-04-64 

 

ABSTRACT

In recent years, the rural institutional framework in Mexico has been completely transformed in order to promote a model of economic growth based on an open market economy. These reforms encompass two different projects for the countryside, 'modernization' and 'globalization', both of which overlap, complement and contradict each other. The first is supported by peasants and farmers aspiring to higher levels of productivity and international competitiveness; the latter project, being highly exclusive, requires international capital to bring about the integration of the agricultural and livestock enclaves into the global economy. This paper analyses the institutional changes by attempting to interpret the reforms as they respond to globalization while attaining a degree of legitimization for the rural constituency of the former corporate system and incorporating rural producers in the ejido sector.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES December, 1995

 

TRADE, EMPLOYMENT AND THE RURAL ECONOMY

 

Louis Lefeber 

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, 

York University North York, 

Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3 

(416) 736-2100 ext. 33192, 

fax: (416) 736-5737 

 

Forthcoming as a publication of the "Simposio Internacional de Estudios de Areas Sobre Ciudad y Campo en América Latina," Japan Center of Area Studies, Osaka, Japan 1996.

ABSTRACT

It has been universally recognized that "trickle down" has not improved the distribution of income, nor has it increased the welfare and purchasing power of the lowest income groups. As the experience of Mexico and various other Latin American countries demonstrates, the growing globalization of the rural economy has increased rural unemployment and migration to urban areas. The loss of domestic self-sufficiency in basic food production has made the low income consumers highly vulnerable to the effects of devaluation. The productivity of labour employed in the modernized agricultural sectors may have increased, but the workers displaced in the process have mostly remained unemployed. Furthermore, competition from foreign investment has displaced some domestic industrial enterprises producing for the domestic markets. As a consequence, the net gain in overall employment from foreign maqilladora investment and agricultural modernization may well be negative. For social welfare accounting the economic and human costs of maintaining displaced and unemployed labour should be subtracted from the productivity gains in the modernized industrial and agricultural sectors. Improvement of income distribution and broad based provision of purchasing power to the lowest income groups, the sine-qua-non of development, require increasing the demand for labour. This, in turn, calls for the reconstruction of the rural economy.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES March, 1996

 

COOPERATION AND POLARIZATION BEYOND BORDERS: THE TRANSNATIONALIZATION OF MEXICAN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES DURING THE NAFTA NEGOTIATIONS

 

Barbara Hogenboom 

Department of Political Science, 

University of Amsterdam 

O.Z. Achterburgwal 237, 

1012 DL Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Tel: +31(0)20-5252175 

Fax: +31(0)20-5252086 

 

Paper prepared for CERLAC workshop Mexico in the Post-NAFTA Era: Democracy, Civil Society and Societal Change, 22-24 September 1995, York University, Toronto.

 

ABSTRACT

The NAFTA negotiations were of great concern to environmental organizations in Mexico, the US and Canada. This paper deals with the transnational cooperation between these groups with respect to Mexico's environmental policy. Within three years many contacts were established, information was shared and ideas were developed. This transnational cooperation came into being despite national differences such as the size, resources, membership, experience and strategy of groups. However, in each of the countries a split occurred between a moderate and a critical position with distinct views on how to materialize environmental protection in NAFTA. The US government's adoption of some of the moderates' ideas played a major role in this division of the environmental community. Partly because of this success, transnational cooperation between moderate groups was limited. Critical groups, conversely, formed a genuine transnational alliance. Despite these new forms of cooperation, Mexican environmental organizations remain weak at the national level.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES September 1995

 

MEXICAN MELTDOWN: NAFTA, DEMOCRACY, AND THE PESO

 

Maxwell A. Cameron 

Norman Paterson School of International Affairs 

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1S 5B6

 Tel: (613) 736-6695 

Fax: (613) 520-2889 

 

Paper presented at a workshop on "Mexico in the Post-NAFTA Era: Democracy, Civil Society, and Societal Change," Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York University, 22-24 September 1995.

 

ABSTRACT

The devaluation of the Mexican peso in December 1994 triggered a financial panic that required massive intervention by the United States government and the International Monetary Fund in an effort to prevent a full-scale financial collapse. The bailout was driven almost exclusively by a concern for powerful economic interests with a stake in NAFTA. Specifically, it was designed to protect the returns of foreign and domestic investors and restore confidence in Mexico; to safeguard the stability of the international economy and in particular the "emerging markets"; to guarantee the continuation of the process of hemispheric integration; and to assure the stability of the Mexican political system and the restructuring of its economy.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES September 1995

 

INDIGENOUS ECOLOGY AND THE POLITICS OF LINKAGE IN MEXICAN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

 

David V. Carruthers 

Department of Political Science, 

San Diego State University 

San Diego, CA 92182-4427 

(619) 594-1825 

fax: (619) 594-7302 

 

Paper prepared for delivery at the International Workshop on Democracy, Civil Society, and Societal Change:Mexico in the Post-NAFTA Era, September 22-24, 1995, CERLAC, York University, Ontario.

 

ABSTRACT

This is a study of ecology as a focal point for social mobilization in rural Mexico. The paper analyses cross-movement alliance formation between contemporary environmentalism and indigenous resistance, taking a first cut at the study of linkages between two unlikely partners. Environmental groups, staffed predominantly by the urban, educated middle class, have found a convergence of interest with existing peasant and indigenous organizations, representing the most marginalized segment of Mexico's rural poor. These alliances stem from an effort to preserve and defend "traditional ecological knowledge", and to incorporate culturally embedded understandings about the stewardship of natural resources into creative experimentation with sustainable development.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES September 1995

 

NEOLIBERALISM AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF MEXICAN AUTHORITARIANISM

 

Judith Teichman 

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Toronto, ON. Canada. MS1 1A1 

Tel: (416) 287-7297 

Fax: (416) 287-7283 

 

Presented at: Workshop on "Mexico in the Post-NAFTA Era: Democracy, Civil Society, and Societal Change", York University, September 22-24, 1995

 

ABSTRACT

Over the last decade, Mexico has carried out a neoliberal economic reform program that has involved the withdrawal of the state from the highly interventionist role characteristic of the pre-1982 period. This article examines the relationship between those reforms and the erosion of the two pillars of Mexican authoritarianism: corporatism and patron clientelism. While the unravelling of traditional authoritarian mechanisms of political control was an unintended impact of market reforms prior to 1989, the administration of Carlos Salinas de Gortari sought to redefine the nature of Mexican authoritarianism, reducing the role of sectoral organizations and establishing new mechanisms of clientelist control. While successful in the short term, the article argues that the new arrangements are inherently less stable.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES July 1995

 

DEVELOPMENT PATHS AT A CROSSROADS: PERU IN LIGHT OF THE EAST ASIAN EXPERIENCE

 

  Maxwell A.Cameron 

Norman Paterson School of International Affairs Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3 Tel: (613) 736-6695 Fax: (613) 788-2889  

Liisa North 

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, York University North York, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3. Tel: (416) 736-2100 ext. 66936 Fax: (416) 736-5737 

Forthcoming in: Socialismo y Participación (Lima, Spring 1996).

 

ABSTRACT

Drawing on a growing literature that compares East Asian and Latin American development paths, this paper argues that the neoliberal reading of the lessons from East Asian experience is perverse and misleading in several respects: it misidentifies both the keys to East Asian NIC success and the causes of past failures in Latin America, and it leads to policy prescriptions that are bound to deepen the Latin American region's social-economic and political crises. A one-sided and inaccurate reading of the lessons of East Asia is especially dangerous in countries such as Peru, which are characterized by weakly articulated and underdeveloped domestic markets, a situation manifested in extreme levels of rural poverty and neglect, an enfeebled industrial plant, and sharp social and regional inequalities. In such countries there is wide scope for a government role to promote growth with equity, especially by encouraging agriculture.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC WORKING PAPER SERIES January 1995

 

ECONOMIC REFORMS AND POLITICAL DEMOCRATIZATION IN MEXICO: RE-EVALUATING BASIC TENETS OF CANADIAN FOREIGN POLICY 

 

 

Ricardo Grinspun 

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, York University North York, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3 (416) 736-2100 ext. 77049, fax: (416) 736-5737

 

Nibaldo Galleguillos 

Department of Political Science, McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M4 (905) 525-9140 ext. 23889, fax: (905) 527-3071 

Richard Roman 

15 Kings College Circle, University College, University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A1 (416) 978-8110, fax: (416) 971-2027 

Forthcoming in: Maxwell A. Cameron and Maureen Appel Molot, Canada Among Nations 1995: Democracy and Foreign Policy, Carleton University Press.

 

ABSTRACT

Canada's official approach to Mexico's affairs appears to be guided by a single-minded, narrowly focused, purpose. Both the former Conservative government and the current Liberal administration base their approach on excessive optimism about the economic gains that might accrue to Canadian corporate business in the short run. In this work, we discuss some alarming social and political developments taking place in Mexico, which we see as resulting from the strongly neoliberal economic orientation that has guided the last two governments and that is likely to persist with the inauguration of the new President, Ernesto Zedillo. We argue that, in light of past and recent events in Mexico, Canada should not actively support the current strategy because it is not likely to bring about significant long-term benefits for most Mexicans or Canadians. We suggest the need for an alternative Canadian foreign and trade policy which responds to a broader set of interests in Canada and that is based on a deeper understanding of the complex patterns of social, political and economic development in Mexico.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES July 2002

 

COLOMBIA: INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT AND HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

 

Michael Baptista Lecture held at York University Wednesday the 23rd of May, 2001

by Amanda Romero-Medina

 

ABSTRACT

Colombia has received increasing international attention in the past three years in response to the deterioration in the internal war that has affected the country for more than forty years. However, the myth that violence in Colombia is largely due to drug trafficking has served to mask the complex historical and political components of an armed conflict that currently represents the most critical issue in the hemisphere.

This paper begins by analyzing one of the most pressing issues of the Colombian conflict: the internal displacement of poor Colombians, its causes and characteristics, and the responses by several actors in society. It relates internal displacement to human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by different parties in the conflict.

The paper moves on to discuss current problems with the peace process that have developed in tandem with the implementation of Plan Colombia, an ambitious programme based on the assumption that Colombia’s problems are due to the negative effects of drug trafficking. In this context, the paper considers the problematic responses to the Pastrana administration’s appeal for international co-operation, giving particular attention to the concerns of ethnic minorities in Colombia and to the economic interests behind the "war on drugs". It concludes by presenting recommendations from civil society organizations working to overcome Colombia’s long-running conflict.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES April 1999

 

THE MORAL CHALLENGES OF GLOBALIZATION: PRINCIPLES FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

 

Speech Presented at York University by 

Dr. Oscar Arias 

Former President of Costa Rica

 

ABSTRACT

Globalization has brought significant changes to our political economy, which in turn have affected human development and the search for peace. In order to strive for a world that is compassionate and equitable, globalization must embrace more than technological advances, sophisticated markets and the increasingly rapid movement of people and information. The challenge is to embrace global citizenship - to think about security, democracy, and justice on a worldwide scale.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES December 1997

 

TOWARD THE SANTIAGO SUMMIT: A CONSULTATION WITH CIVIL SOCIETY ON DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC INTEGRATION

 

Rapporteur's Report by 

Tom Legler and Carlos Torres 

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, 

York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 

 

ABSTRACT

The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), in conjunction with the Candian Fiundation for the Americas (FOCAL), organized this public policy workshop at York University. The purpose of the event was to provide a forum for individuals and prganizations from civil society in Ontario to express their views concerning the issues of democracy, human rights and economic integration in the Americas and to furnish the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) with policy proposals in preparation for the Summit of the Maericas planned for April 1998 in Santiago, Chile.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPERS SERIES December 1995

 

ISSUES AND CHALLENGES FACING CANADIAN AND SOUTH AMERICAN SYSTEMS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

 

A REPORT ON THE INSTITUTE OF UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP (IGLU) Workshop at York University

 

Rapporteur's Report by 

Yasmine Shamsie and Merike Blofield 

240 York Lanes, York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 

 

ABSTRACT

This is a rapporteur's report of a day-long workshop designed to deliver overviews and updates focusing on the Canadian system of education and to explore major issues and challenges facing the system. This has allowed for a comparative discussion of issues and challenges facing South American and Canadian systems of higher education, as well as a discussion among participants of strategies to promote university partnerships. The workshop was held in October, 1995 at CERLAC, facilitated by Ricardo Grinspun with the assistance of Yasmine Shamsie.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC COLLOQUIA PAPER SERIES June 1995

 

MEXICO AFTER NAFTA: A PUBLIC FORUM FOR LABOUR AND SOCIAL ACTIVISTS ON THE CURRENT MEXICAN CRISIS

 

Alejandro Alvarez Bejar (Universidad Autonoma de Mexico), 

Nick De Carlo (Canadian Auto Workers), 

Nibaldo Galleguillos (McMaster University), 

Ricardo Grinspun (York University), 

Bob Jeffcott (Maquila Solidarity Network), 

Richard Roman (University of Toronto), 

Suzanne Rumsey (Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America),

 Judith Teichman (University of Toronto)

Rapporteur's Report by 

Stephen Rotter and Ruth Abramson 

240 York Lanes, York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 cerlac@yorku.ca

 

ABSTRACT

This is a rapporteur's report of a day-long workshop designed to deliver overviews and updates focusing on the deep economic, social and political crisis that has engulfed Mexico. The sessions dealt with critical issues of interest for social, international and labour activists. Brief presentations were followed by discussion from the floor. Presentations went beyond headline news and official discourse, addressing the harsh realities caused by the deepening crisis, and the multiple responses to this crisis by the Mexican people and their allies in Canada and elsewhere.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC OCCASIONAL PAPERS SERIES February 2001

 

DIRECTIONS IN ETHNOHISTORICAL RESEARCH ON THE INCA STATE AND ECONOMY

 

Chris Beyers 

Sussex University 

 

ABSTRACT

This paper reassesses the contributions and limitations of the substantivist program in Andean ethnohistory on the Inca state and economy, which was initiated by John Murra under the influence of Karl Polanyi. It situates this program within a historiographical trajectory tracing back to the foundational sources. Many of the presuppositions that characterized early Inca historiography continue to influence modern historiography. Moreover, these presuppositions have been transfigured in modern accounts in the form of peculiarly modern concepts of the political economy of the nation-state and empire. The particular form which “facts” take on in the substantivist method, and the particular relationship between “fact” and “value” encouraged in substantivist interpretation, rely on an analogical mode of thinking which forecloses the interpretive possibilities of difference. Any discussion about the nature and character of Inca society should involve an analysis of the dialogical character of the (mainly textual) sources in which the data is presented, and of the historiographical tradition in which modern interpretations are embedded. The paper concludes by arguing that Polanyi-inspired substantivism in Inca ethnohistory would be fruitfully reoriented in a more interpretive direction by rethinking the meaning of “the substantive.”

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC OCCASIONAL PAPERS SERIES January 1996

 

THE UNITED NATIONS IN EL SALVADOR: THE PROMISE AND DILEMMAS OF AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO PEACE

 

Stephen Baranyi and Liisa L. North 

CERLAC, 

240 York Lanes, York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 

 

ABSTRACT

This work on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL) was completed in September 1993. Much has been published on the Mission and the Salvadorean peace process since then. Nevertheless, CERLAC has decided to distribute this study in the Occasional Paper Series since it provides original documentation and analysis based on field work and interviews, in addition to UN documents and secondary sources.

The research was conducted as part of a broader project on UN peacekeeping operations, funded by the Ford Foundation and directed by the late Professor David Cox, Department of Political Studies, Queen's University on behalf of the Canadian Center for Global Security.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES June 1994

 

THE ROLE OF IDEAS IN A CHANGING WORLD ORDER: THE INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS MOVEMENT: 1975-1990

 

Bice Maiguashca

 

ABSTRACT

This paper considers the International Indigenous Movement as part of a growing trend of oppositional movements unfolding at the international level. Chapter I provides the theoretical framework, emphasizing Cox's approach to international relations. Chapter II examines how this movement emerged onto the international scene in the mid-seventies as a consequence of global changes at the level of production relations, forms of state and world order. Chapter III observes how this Movement has since developed into a truly global phenomenon in which indigenous peoples from North and South America, the Arctic, Northern Europe, Asia, the Pacific and even Africa are now involved. Chapter IV focuses on the indigenous counter?hegemonic project and examines how the worldview of indigenous peoples contrasts with that of the dominant social forces of today's world order. Throughout, it is argued that there remains a pressing need for international relations scholars to redirect their attention to non?dominant, non?hegemonic social forces which may well contribute in an unprecedented way to the reconstitution of a new, more pluralistic world order.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

 

CERLAC OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES November 1992

 

INDIANS, PEASANTS AND THE STATE: THE GROWTH OF A COMMUNITY MOVEMENT IN THE ECUADOREAN ANDES

 

Tanya Korovkin

ABSTRACT

In the 1980s and early 1990s Ecuador witnessed the rise of a powerful indigenous movement, raising questions about the position of the indigenous peasantry in peripheral capitalist societies. This study focuses on the relationship between the expansion of capitalist agriculture and the rise of an indigenous peasant movement in one such area ? the province of Chimborazo in the Ecuadorian Andes. It is conducted in a historical?structural perspective, combined with elements of historical?cultural analysis. The main concern is with state?induced structural changes that facilitated the transformation of indigenous peasant communities with their distinct cultural identity into a major protagonist in agrarian struggles. It is argued that these struggles represent a communal alternative to the post?reform capitalist order in the Ecuadorian Andes, an order based on privately owned land of high productivity, and on state control of the economic and social infrastructure.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC DOCUMENT April 1996

 

MAJOR INSTITUTIONAL LINKAGES OF CERLAC IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

 

Compiled by 

Liisa North 

with the assistance of Ruth Abramsom 

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, 

York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 

 

ABSTRACT

This document summarizes major institutional linkages of CERLAC with Latin American and Caribbean institutions. The institutions included here are of two kinds: (1) those with which CERLAC has developed joint projects in teaching and / or research and (2) those with which periodic or ongoing exchanges of faculty and /or students have taken place.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

CERLAC REPORT April 1996

 

RESEARCH CAPACITY FOR CANADIAN POLICY TOWARD LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

 

Ricardo Grinspun, Louis Lefeber, Liisa North and Yasmine Shamsie 

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 cerlac@yorku.ca

ABSTRACT

This document was prepared for the Department of External Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Canada. The request came from the Norman Peterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University which arranged this "exercise" for DFAIT. The purpose was to survey existing research capacity concerning Canadian foreign affairs and to make appropriate recommendations for future governmental priorities in this regard. The format and subheadings for the requested document were quite rigid, thus, we had very little flexibility in terms of the structure and length of the document.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 


 

 

CERLAC REPORT 1996

 

The 1994 Presidential and Congressional Elections in Mexico

 

Nibaldo H. Galleguillos, Richard King, Barry Levitt, Lucy Luccissano & Teresa Healy  

CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, York University 

North York, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3 

Tel: (416) 736-5237 

Fax: (416) 736-5737 cerlac@yorku.ca

ABSTRACT

The controversy surrounding the 1991 Mexican elections forced the administration to introduce yet more electoral reforms to prepare the country for the next largest electoral exercise, the August 1994 presidential and congressional elections. CERLAC was among some of the various Canadians institutions and organizations that decided to use this opportunity to send a small delegation to Mexico as official foreign observers. This report contains the personal accounts of what the members of the CERLAC observation team saw, experienced, learned, and considered to be the most important features of the 1994 elections.

 

Download Full Document as PDF File

return to top of page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[About CERLAC]   [News & Events]    [Projects]   [Publications]  [Researchers]  

 

[Resources]       [LACS]      [Links]     [Contact us]     [Home]