Alternative Governance in Latin America

Authored by: Harold Trinkunas , Anne Clunan

Routledge Handbook of Latin American Security

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415718691
eBook ISBN: 9781315867908
Adobe ISBN: 9781317965091


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Who governs in Latin America when the state does not? State strength and capacity is notoriously variable across the region, yet human beings still make collective decisions with binding outcomes that govern the allocation of resources, establish rules of behavior, and enforce agreements. Alternative governance providers in the region span violent and nonviolent state actors, nongovernmental, licit, and illicit business organizations, physical and online activist communities, and formal and informal networks among them. This chapter assesses the research agenda on alternatively governed spaces in Latin America and the debate on when alternative governance modalities promote or impede human, national, and international security. When and why do actors govern with, against, or around the state? The chapter first takes a brief look at the history of alternative governance in Latin America. Next, it provides a theoretical overview of the origins of alternatively governed spaces and the policy responses these have provoked. It will then examine two zones where alternative governance has most commonly emerged in the region but where questions still remain: cities and borders. It concludes by identifying an agenda for studying how state and nonstate actors attempt to influence security outcomes in ungoverned spaces.

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