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Faculty Book: Forrest D. Colburn

Forrest D. Colburn with Arturo Cruz S.

Varieties of Liberalism in Central America: Nation-States as Works in Progress
(University of Texas Press, 2007)

Offering an elegant defense of empiricism, the authors explore the roles of geography and political choice in constructing nations and states in Central America— Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica—over the last twenty-five years. Countries are shown to be unique: there are a daunting number of variables. There is causality, but not the kind that can be revealed in the laboratory or on the blackboard. Liberalism—today defined as democracy and unfettered markets—may be in vogue, but it has no inherent determinants. Democracy and market economies, when welded to the messy realities of individual countries, are compatible with many different outcomes. The world is more pluralistic in both causes and effects than either academic theories or political rhetoric suggest. Forrest D. Colburn and Arturo Cruz S. teach at INCAE, the premier graduate school of management in Latin America. Colburn is also a professor of political science at Lehman College and the Graduate Center. Cruz has been selected by newly elected President Daniel Ortega to serve as Nicaragua's ambassador to the United States.

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Submitted on: SEP 1, 2007

Category: Faculty Books, Political Science