Latin America and the Illusion of Peace
Routledge – 2012 – 112 pages
Series: Adelphi series
This book explores interstate conflict and its dynamics in the context of Latin America’s contemporary conflict management experience. The myth of Latin America as a region of peace means that each time the use of force rises to the level of global attention (e.g., Ecuador-Peru 1995 or Colombia-Ecuador 2008) analysts and the press ask, "how could that happen here?" Yet the official uses of military force in interstate relations are significantly more prevalent than most analysts within and outside the region understand, and the region is facing new and potentially destabilizing challenges. It is the contention of this book that mitigating the threat raised by militarized interstate relations requires understanding the various ways in which military force can be employed short of war; this in turn requires illuminating the decision making process that produces militarization of a disagreement, considering options for dissuading the decision makers from choosing to militarize and limiting escalations when militarization does occur.
'This highly useful survey of contemporary Latin American security demonstrates how growing sub-national security threats and persistent inter-state disputes combine to make military disputes more likely. Integrating domestic politics and international strategy, it provides a nuanced explanation for when and where states in Latin America resort to force, and what regional states and international organisations can do to diminish the risk of war.’ Harold Trinkunas, Professor, National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate College, Monterey, California
‘A thorough and useful contribution to the understanding of contemporary conflicts in Latin America.' Andres Serbin, President, Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Economicas y Sociales
David R. Mares holds the Institute of the Americas chair for Inter-American Affairs, has been Professor of the Centro de Estudios Internacionales at El Colegio de Mexico, Fulbright Professor at the Universidad de Chile and Visiting Professor at FLACSO-Ecuador. His books include Violent Peace, War and Peace in the Amazon and Coming in from the Cold: Chile-US Relations at the Millennium