Here are two academic articles on Guatemala that I thought might be of interest to some of you out there.Julie Stewart, an assistant professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Utah, has a new article in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography on A Tale of Two Communities: Divergent Development and Embedded Brokerage in Postwar Guatemala. Here is the paper's abstract:
Sociologists of development are increasingly interested in better understanding the reasons for intracountry variation of development outcomes, often focusing on community-level studies. I draw on extensive fieldwork in two return-refugee communities in rural, postwar Guatemala to explain why some community development initiatives succeed while others fail. I attribute this divergence to the presence of embedded brokerage, a new form of brokerage that is particularly useful in the context of aid relationships, which frequently cross transnational cleavages of class, power, and privilege. In particular, I argue that when brokers who are embedded in both the sending and receiving communities facilitate aid relationships, the outcome is more successful. This study demonstrates how embedded brokers responded to community initiative, attracted specialized funding, and helped institutionalize key development values in one community. In contrast, the absence of brokers in the second community contributed to the absence of community initiative, the delivery of generic projects and the failure to institutionalize development values.Elisabet Dueholm Rasch, an assistant professor at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, has a recent article in the Journal of Developing Societies on Transformations in Citizenship Local Resistance against Mining Projects in Huehuetenango (Guatemala). Here's its abstract:
In this article, I analyze how Guatemalan indigenous citizens claim their rights to be citizens and agents of their own development through local resistance to large-scale mining projects. These indigenous communities face massive resource extraction by multinational mining companies that endangers the quality of land and water, adversely affects community relations, and impedes indigenous self-determination. At the same time, the political recognition of indigenous peoples allows them to negotiate the regulation of natural resources on the basis of their ethnic identity, as neoliberal reforms have led to decentralization and greater responsibilities for development at the municipal level. I argue that narratives of “alternative development and citizenship” are not only shaped within the multi-scalar character of the anti-mining movement but also constructed within the different ways the resistance is framed, that is, as an indigenous struggle, as a class-based resistance, or as resistance against neoliberal development policies in general. To understand the complex ways that citizenship is constructed from below, we need to take these two dimensions of analysis into account.