PEAC 038. Civil Wars & Neoliberal Peace in Central America

This course focuses on the sociopolitical turmoil that devastated Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador as a wave of revolutionary wars swept across the region from the 1960s to the early 1990s and sought to end decades of oppressive military dictatorships. After studying the civil wars and their causes, the course will then focus on the peacebuilding efforts and the implementation of democracy within the neoliberal economic order. Of particular interest are the failures of the peacebuilding process, the current gang violence in the region, and the widespread political corruption supported by an economic system that has made of everyday life an exercise in survival.

We will pay special attention to U.S. intervention in Central America, particularly the consequences of its involvement in the military dictatorships and armed conflicts in the region. We'll focus on issues of social trauma and social disaffection, of historical memory and the genocide of the Mayas, of political resistance and the struggle for social justice, and of the limits of postwar reconstruction and reconciliation in the era of neoliberalism. This course will help us understand the current crisis of Central
American immigration to the U.S. 
1 credit.
Eligible for LALS, PEAC, ESCH, GLBL-paired.
Fall 2022. Buiza.
Fall 2023. Buiza.
Fall 2024. Buiza.
Catalog chapter: Peace and Conflict Studies  
Department website:

Access the class schedule to search for sections.

Print-Friendly Page (opens a new window)