Regional hegemons can and do determine the political evolutions of countries within their respective spheres of influence. This study propounds and tests this new theory by examining the influence of U.S. foreign policy on Central America regime formation in the late 1940s and 1980s. By dissecting and comparing the modern histories of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, this book provides a fresh analysis of these countries' histories and of U.S. influence in their political development. "Forging Democracy" contributes significantly to the theoretical debate over democracy at a crucial time when Washington is reconsidering its role as a promoter of democracy all over the world (especially in Latin America). In addition, this theory provides a framework within which to study the effects of other hegemons' policies on their respective spheres of influence (i.e. the French in Africa). This seminal work extends the understanding of past events, present debates, and possible future ramifications of U.S. foreign policies. Contents: Abbreviations; Preface, by Dwight H. Perkins; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Democratization and Its Factors; The United States in Costa Rica: The Stabilizing Effects of U.S. Foreign Policy; The Eagle and the Quetzal: The United States in Guatemala; The Lasting Effects of U.S. Foreign Policy on Nicaragua; Conclusion; Epilogue; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Author Biography: Juan Carlos Zarate is a Researcher at The University of Salamanca in Spain.