Nicholas Copeland sheds new light on rural politics in Guatemala and across neoliberal and post-conflict settings in The Democracy Development Machine. This historical ethnography examines how governmentalized spaces of democracy and development fell short, enabling and disfiguring an ethnic Mayan resurgence.
In a passionate and politically engaged book, Copeland argues that the transition to democracy in Guatemalan Mayan communities has led to a troubling paradox. He finds that while liberal democracy is celebrated in most of the world as the ideal, it can subvert political desires and channel them into illiberal spaces. As a result, Copeland explores alternative ways of imagining liberal democracy and economic and social amelioration in a traumatized and highly unequal society as it strives to transition from war and authoritarian rule to open elections and free-market democracy.
The Democracy Development Machine follows Guatemala's transition, reflects on Mayan involvement in politics during and after the conflict, and provides novel ways to link democratic development with economic and political development.
|Publisher:||Cornell University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: A Transition to Misery
1. "They Committed No Crime": Developing Democratic Memories
2. Nos Falta Capacidad: Training Enterprising Selves
3. The Capacity for Democracy: Transforming Democratic Imaginaries
4. Radical Pessimism: Neoliberal Democratic Atmosphere
5. Parties and Projects: Democratizing Sovereign Violence
6. Cruel Populism: Mutilating the People
Conclusion: Reorienting Democracy
What People are Saying About This
"The Democracy Development Machine is a fantastic book. It’s exactly what political ethnography should beinsightful, analytically rigorous, ethnographically rich, and provocative."
"Nicholas Copeland has written a powerful critique of grassroots democracy. Copeland captures the complicated ways local allegiances work in practice, shattering romantic notions of community cooperation. This reveals much about Guatemala's troubled politics and enriches our understanding of the multifaceted, often unintended, effects of social action."