Transnational Conflicts

Transnational Conflicts:Central America, Social Change, and Globalization

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Capitalism has disrupted the conventional pattern of revolutionary upheaval, civil wars, and pacification in Central America; William Robinson maps the shape of change in the region

In this timely and provocative study, William I. Robinson challenges received wisdom on Central America. He starts with an exposition on the new global capitalism. Then, drawing on a wide range of historical documentation, interviews, and social science research, he proceeds to show how capitalist globalization has thoroughly transformed the region, disrupting the conventional pattern of revolutionary upheaval, civil wars, and pacification, and ushering in instead a new transnational model of economy and society.
Beyond his focus on Central America, Robinson provides a critical framework for understanding development and social change in other regions of the world in the age of globalization. Demonstrating how the very forces of capitalism have brought into being new social agents and political actors unlikely to acquiesce in the face of the emerging order, Transnational Conflicts shows why the Isthmus, along with other regions, is likely to return to the headlines in the near future.


  • This book operates at multiple levels. It is a detailed and original contribution to the study of Central America. And by positioning Central America in a broader historical and structural framing, Robinson also makes a major contribution to our understanding of global capitalism. Through it all, the narrative never loses track of the human actors involved. Complex and brilliant!

    Saskia Sassen
  • Since independence, Central America has been caught between competing external influences. Now globalization is sucking the region into its web in a dramatic way. William I. Robinson, in this momentous book, analyses these trends in great detail while offering the reader a bold and distinctive interpretation of globalization. The result is a fine piece of scholarship that deserves careful study.

    Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas