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Following a sharp increase in the number of border arrivals from the violence-torn countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras in the spring and summer of 2014, the United States quickly implemented a strategy designed to prevent such surges by enhancing its detention and deportation efforts. In this article, we examine the emigration decision for citizens living in the high-crime contexts of northern Central America. First, through analysis of survey data across Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, we explore the role crime victimization plays in leading residents of these countries to consider emigration. Next, using survey data collected across twelve municipalities in Honduras, we evaluate the extent to which knowledge of heightened US immigration deterrence efforts influenced respondents’ emigration decision. Though a vast majority of these respondents were aware of the stricter US immigration policy regime, this awareness had no effect on their consideration of emigration as a viable strategy.
As indigenous movements around the world seek to strengthen their collective voice in their respective political systems, efforts continue to design political institutions that offer both sufficient local autonomy and incentives to participate in the broader political system. The state of Oaxaca, Mexico, offers a test case of one such effort at indigenous-based institutional design. This article argues that such reforms often fail to confront the tension between local autonomy and citizen engagement in politics outside the borders of the community. Testing this theory through a comparative analysis of voter turnout rates in municipalities across the state of Oaxaca and the neighboring state of Guerrero, this study finds that the adoption of indigenous institutions at the local level is associated with significantly lower voter turnout rates for national elections.
An increasing number of development scholars and policymakers are recognizing the importance of Latin American judicial reforms in shaping the ultimate outcome of the region's “dual transition.” We can hardly begin to assess the conditions in which judicial systems are likely to improve, however, unless we have a means to measure judicial performance systematically across countries. This article offers just such a comprehensive cross-national measure of judicial performance for Latin America. Drawing from a survey of Latin American legal scholars and practitioners from 17 countries in the region, it seeks to establish a more valid, and therefore more useful, assessment of the performance of Latin American judiciaries than existing measures, in order to advance efforts to understand the causes and consequences of effective judicial reforms in the region.
This essay extends the discussion on the politics of reform by identifying specific political strategies that allow policymakers to implement difficult economic reforms in the context of an increasingly democratic and contentious policymaking environment. Analyzing the policymaking strategy of Mexican president Carlos Salinas (1988-94) in his efforts to reorganize the Port of Veracruz, it identifies the element of political entrepreneurship as essential to the long-term success of Salinas's port policy. When compared with the mixed record of many of Salinas's other reforms and the authoritarian manner in which they were implemented, the port policy stands out both for its successful outcome and for Salinas's concerted political efforts to implement it. Even in the context of an authoritarian policymaking regime, an effective political strategy is an important element in achieving the long-term goals of market-based reforms.
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