Working Paper No. 19: Newcomer Central American Immigrants' Access to Legal Services
CLALS released Working Paper No. 19 in late September 2018: "Newcomer Central American Immigrants' Access to Legal Services." To better understand local variations in the provision of legal assistance and barriers faced by Central American migrants in accessing existing services, researchers from the Center and the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston conducted interviews with service providers, local government officials, and other stakeholders across three major immigrant receiving communities: the Washington, DC and Houston metropolitan areas, and North and South Carolina. Drawing on project interviews and publicly available data, this report documents legal service gaps, catalogs the principal challenges confronting community-based legal service providers, and highlights strategies for enhancing service provider capacity and overcoming access barriers. The report is available for download here.
Church, Cosmovision and the Environment: New Edited Volume
As part of a Center project on Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America, a new edited volume was released in July 2018 by Routledge Press. Church, Cosmovision and the Environment: Religion and Social Conflict in Contemporary Latin America describes and analyses multiple types of religious engagement with environmental concerns and conflicts seen in modern Latin American democracies. The volume was edited by CLALS Research Associate Professor Robert Albro and Evan Berry, Associate Professor in AU's Department of Philosophy and Religion.
CLALS Releases Working Paper Number 18
CLALS released a new working paper, "From Steady Progress to Severely Wounded: A Two-Year Report on the Performance of the OAS Mission in Support of the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH)" that examines MACCIH's progress and challenges in the two years since its inception. Halfway through its four-year mandate, MACCIH has scored some important successes but confronts growing sabotage from segments of Honduras’s political elite determined to undermine the Mission’s work. The report was launched in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in front of an audience of nearly 200 people. The report is available for download in English and Spanish on the CLALS Working Paper page.
CLALS Announces 2017 Winners of LeoGrande Award & Prize
CLALS and the School of Public Affairs are pleased to announce the recipients of the William M. LeoGrande Prize for the best book on U.S.- Latin American relations, and the William M. LeoGrande Award for the best scholarly book or article on Latin American or Latino Studies published by a member of the American University community, for 2016-2017:
- Tore C. Olsson, Assistant Professor, Department of History, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Agrarian Crossings: Reformers and the Remaking of the US and Mexican Countryside (Princeton University Press, 2017)
- Michael Bader, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, (with Siri Warkentien) "The Fragmented Evolution of Racial Integration since the Civil Rights Movement" ( Sociological Science, 2016)
Click here for more information on the LeoGrande competition and the work of these two scholars.
CLALS and InSight Crime Release Multi-Year Investigative Report on MS13
As a part of a multi-year initiative evaluating the transnational criminal capacity of the MS13 gang, CLALS and InSight Crime have released a report on "MS13 in the Americas: How the World's Most Notorious Gang Defies Logic, Resists Destruction." With funding from the National Institute of Justice, the report synthesizes findings from three years of investigative field work and interviews in El Salvador, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Long Island. To download the full report, please click here.
NSF Workshop Report: Country Conditions in Central America and Asylum Decision-Making
The latest installment in the CLALS Working Paper Series is the result of a January 2017 workshop convened in collaboration with the Washington College of Law to discuss how social science research can better inform judicial decision-making with respect to the growing number of asylum applications submitted by Central Americans. The report summarizes recommendations for more effective cross-disciplinary collaboration on asylum claims; highlights trends in security and socioeconomic conditions in Central America and charts an agenda for future research on those and related topics; and reflects on ongoing challenges to efficient and equitable adjudication of claims in the U.S. The full report is available for download here.
CLALS Publishes Spanish-Language Edited Volume Sexo, Delitos y Pecados
As part of the Religion and Democratic Contestation Initiative, generously funded by the Henry R. Luce Foundation, CLALS has published a Spanish-language Ebook. Available for free download, Sexo, Delitos y Pecados: Intersecciones entre religión, género, sexualidad y el derecho en América Latina brings together the insights of academics and advocates, many of whom are currently at the forefront of impact litigation across Latin America concerned with the rights of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans) people and women's reproductive rights. Chapters in the edited volume highlight the role played by religion in the region, in both promoting and limiting such rights. Coming to us from the front lines of these struggles in Latin America, this book offers timely clarity about how the law and particular rights with respect to gender and sexual identity are currently being interpreted, contested, and sometimes, transformed, by social justice and religious parties to such conflicts.
CLALS and SIS Launch the Robert A. Pastor North America Research Initiative
American University's School of International Service (SIS) and CLALS have launched an initiative to promote and disseminate cutting edge social science research focused on processes of North American integration. Starting in fall 2016, AU will convene a select group of early career scholars who will explore North American progress toward the ideal of integration championed by the late SIS Professor Robert A. Pastor. By supporting the production, exchange, and dissemination of innovative social science devoted to the region and its potential, the Robert A. Pastor North America Research Initiative (NARI) places AU at the forefront of a long term research agenda that will inform future policy on North America.
Palgrave Releases CLALS-Sponsored Volume on Emergent Challenges for Latin American Economies
Most countries in Latin America are struggling to escape what economists label "the middle income trap." While much if not all of the region has emerged from low income status, neither growth nor productivity has increased sufficiently to enable Latin America to narrow the gap separating it from the world's most developed economies. The volume Innovation and Inclusion in Latin America , edited by Barbara Stallings and Alejandro Foxley, identifies lessons that can be learned and adapted from experiences within the region and in East Asia, where the middle income trap has largely been avoided.
This book is the result of a collaborative project undertaken by CLALS and the Corporation for Latin American Studies (CIEPLAN) in Chile, with financial support from the Inter-American Development Bank's Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness.
CLALS Receives National Science Foundation Workshop Grant
With asylum applications from Central American children and families on the rise, CLALS was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to convene a workshop to discuss how social science research can inform judicial decision-making on these complex cases. The January 2017 workshop will bring together leading social scientists with expertise on the conditions driving migration and on the psycho-social impacts of the migration experience, with legal scholars who specialize in refugee and asylum law. The objective is to share insights across disciplinary perspectives in order to enhance scholarship and better inform lawyers and other practitioners working with Central American migrants. The initiative will be led by CLALS Director Eric Hershberg and Washington College of Law Professor Jayesh Rathod. Learn more about the workshop.
Working Paper #13: "The Role of the Latino Vote in the 2016 Elections"
A record 27.3 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections. In the latest addition to our Working Paper Series, Aaron Bell recaps a series of panel discussions at American University's 2nd Annual Latino Public Affairs Forum on the potential impact of the Latino vote. Panelists identified several factors that may shape electoral outcomes, including the diverse makeup and interests of the Latino community, immigration's role as a wedge issue, and partisan and non-partisan effort to engage with, register, and turn out voters.
Working Paper #12: "A Critical Look at Labor Legislation in Cuba"
In the thirteenth addition to our Working Paper Series, Gabriela Radfar offers an analysis of changes in Cuba's labor laws following the "Special Period in Time of Peace." The new labor legislation has been marked by reforms to Social Security, legal recognition and expansion of "self-employment," and the creation of new cooperatives. These measures and the new Labor Code enacted in 2014 are part of Cuba's "Updating the Economic Model." The full paper is available in Spanish, and is part of our ongoing Cuba Initiative, funded by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.
Working Paper #11: What Pope Francis Brings to Latin America
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has embodied an approach centered on personal simplicity, with a stance that is open and welcoming to all, above all to the marginalized and vulnerable. The eleventh installment of the CLALS Working Paper Series examines the resonance and possible impact of the Pope's public stance on five issues: peacemaking and violence; ecology; migration and migrants (internal and international); inequality; and gender and sexuality. Each of these issues has a long history in Latin America (as elsewhere) of public debates, campaigns for changes in law (and resistance to those changes), and mobilization and lobbying by individuals and social movements. The report is a product of the Center's Luce Foundation-funded project on Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America.
Former Governor of Puerto Rico Discusses Florida's Growing Puerto Rican Voter Bloc
In an exclusive interview with CLALS graduate assistant Maria Carrasquillo, former governor of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuño opines that Florida's Puerto Rican electorate is "up for grabs" in the 2016 presidential election--and could very well decide who wins this important swing state. Read the full article.
On Monday, February 29, Gov. Fortuño was one of nine expert panelists who debated the role of the Latino vote in the 2016 election at the 2nd Annual Latino Public Affairs Forum.
CLALS and Kogod Release Report on Latino Entrepreneurship in the DC-Metro Region
Drawing on an unprecedented original survey of 200 Latino entrepreneurs in the DC metropolitan area, the Center's latest working paper begins to fill a critical knowledge gap about Latino-owned businesses in the region. Authored by Kogod School of Business Professor Barbara Bird and CLALS Research Fellow Michael Danielson, the report concludes a second phase of research on Latino entrepreneurship in the DC-metro region carried out in collaboration with area partners, the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC) and the Arlington-based small business training company BizLaunch.
CLALS Releases Report on the Catholic Church's Role in Keeping Gold Mining out of El Salvador
El Salvador's refusal to allow industrial gold mining within its borders sets it apart from most other Latin American countries. Since 2007, three successive presidents from opposing parties have maintained a de facto moratorium that prevents all mining firms from accessing El Salvador's gold deposits. Yet opposition to industrial gold mining has not always been the majority position in El Salvador. The ninth installment in the CLALS Working Paper Series explores the Church's influence on the Salvadoran government's decision to suspend all metals mining, examining the theological and practical motivations for the Church's stance on mining. The report is a product of the Center's Luce Foundation-funded project on Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America.
Notre Dame publishes CLALS-Sponsored Volume on Religious Responses to Violence in Latin America
During the past half century, Latin America has evolved from a region of political instability and frequent dictatorships into one of elected governments--yet high levels of violence have remained a persistent problem. The CLALS-sponsored publication, Religious Responses to Violence: Human Rights in Latin America Past and Present (Notre Dame, 2015, edited by Alexander Wilde), analyzes how religion has contended with different forms of violence, from the political and state violence of the 1970s and 1980s to the drug traffickers and youth gangs of today. The book synthesizes findings from a previous Henry Luce Foundation-sponsored project on Religion and Violence in Latin America and is also available in Spanish.
Bill Gentile Produces Documentary Short "When the Forest Weeps"
As part of the Luce Foundation-funded initiative on Religion and Democratic Contestation in Latin America, the Center released the new documentary short " When the Forest Weeps," which was shot by SOC Journalist in Residence Bill Gentile on assignment in Ecuador. The piece highlights the spiritual relationship between the Kichwa indigenous people and the Ecuadoran Amazon rain forest. The Spanish-language version of the video was also featured in an article by Univisión.
CLALS and FLACSO Release Working Paper on Violence and Community Capabilities in Central America
CLALS released the eighth installment in its Working Paper Series, titled "Violence and Community Capabilities: Insights for Building Safe and Inclusive Cities in Latin America" and authored in collaboration with FLACSO-Costa Rica and FLACSO-El Salvador. The paper is part of an IDRC-supported initiative to inform policymakers and practitioners on the dynamics of urban violence in two countries that have evolved very differently historically: Costa Rica and El Salvador. In five distinct communities, the researchers analyzed neighborhood dynamics as well as community assessments of anti-violence interventions. Read the full-text paper.
CLALS and the Pulitzer Center Host Forum on Religion, the Environment, and Social Justice
Following the papal visit to the United States, CLALS and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting brought together journalists and academic experts to discuss reporting on the role of religion in public discussion, debate, and activism on climate change. The event was part of a Luce Foundation-funded CLALS project on Democratic Contestation in Latin America, dedicated to exploring the relationship of religion to the environment across the region. Videos and a report of the event are available via the Pulitzer Center.
CLALS Curates Online Photo Exhibit: "Exploring Cuba"
As part of its ongoing Cuba Initiative, CLALS launched an online, curated exhibition of photographs from Cuba, in partnership with American University's Bender Library. The collection is available to the public for free downloading and circulation, and is intended to be a resource for authors, educators, students, web designers and others engaged in analyses of contemporary Cuban affairs. If you would like to contribute photographs to the collection, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLALS Convenes Meeting with IAF
On July 13, 2015 CLALS and the Inter-American Foundation jointly convened a workshop to explore the possible linkages between diaspora organizations in the U.S., their sending communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, and interested philanthropic and programmatic partners on both sides of the borders. This effort builds on many years of applied IAF and AU experience with these diaspora communities, Home Town Associations (HTAs), community foundations, and other partners, and takes advantage of the momentum created in recent months with the founding of a transnational Ad Hoc Working Group on Building Broader Communities.
Palgrave Publishes Project-Sponsored Volume on Brazil
A series of wide-ranging essays on Brazil's changing international role have been published in a CLALS-sponsored volume entitled Brazil on the Global Stage: Power, Ideas, and the International Order (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). The book is co-edited by Professors Matthew Taylor (School of International Service, AU) and Oliver Stuenkel (Fundação Getulio Vargas) and is a product of CLALS' initiative on Brazil and the Global Liberal Order. The volume explores Brazil's postures on specific aspects of foreign relations, including trade, foreign and environmental policy, humanitarian intervention, nuclear proliferation, and South-South relations, among other topics.
SIS Professor and CLALS Affiliate Robin Broad Releases Paper on Corporate Bias in the World Bank Group
In this paper, Broad focuses on the main venue for investor-state dispute settlement: the World Bank Group's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), beginning with a brief history of ICSID, from its birth fifty years ago to the present moment. The paper provides a detailed case study of what transpired after El Salvador's government did not approve a mining concession for a Canadian mining company and subsequently implemented an environmentally inspired de-facto moratorium on metals mining in Postwar Puerto Rico. Read the full paper here.
CLALS Announces Recipients of the 2014 William M. LeoGrande Prize and Award
On April 1, 2015 CLALS and SPA announced the 2014 recipients of the William M. LeoGrande Prize for the best book on U.S.-Latin American relations, and the William M. LeoGrande Award for the best scholarly book or article on Latin American or Latino Studies published by a member of the AU community, for 2013-2014.
2014 William M. LeoGrande Prize Recipient:
Alan McPherson, ConocoPhillips Petroleum Chair of Latin American Studies, University of Oklahoma, The Invaded: How Latin Americans and Their Allies Fought and Ended U.S. Occupations (Oxford University Press, 2014)
2014 William M. LeoGrande Award Recipient:
Eileen J. Suárez Findlay, Associate Professor, Department of History, AU College of Arts and Sciences, We are Left without a Father Here: Masculinity, Domesticity, and Migration in Postwar Puerto Rico (Duke University Press, 2014)
CLALS and ICEFI Publish Project-Sponsored Book on Central American Elites and Fiscal Policy
Studies resulting from a joint project carried out by CLALS and the Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Fiscales ( ICEFI) have been published in a volume entitled Política fiscal: expresión del poder de las élites centroamericanas. The book analyzes how elites influence fiscal policymaking in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, shedding light on the complex relations between the state, economy and society in these countries. Electronic and print versions of the book are available for purchase via F&G Editores.
CLALS Launches Project-Sponsored Book on Latin American Economies
Studies resulting from a joint project carried out by CLALS and the Corporación para Estudios de Latinoamérica (CIEPLAN) have been published in a volume edited by CIEPLAN President Alejandro Foxley and CLALS Research Fellow Barbara Stallings. The book, titled Economías latinoamericanas: Cómo avanzar más allá del ingreso medio, outlines emerging challenges faced by Latin American economies and identifies lessons from experiences within the region and East Asia to address issues of technology and innovation as well as social inclusion. Download an electronic version of the book or read about the book launch, which took place at the Universidad de Talca in Chile.
CLALS Releases Report on Unaccompanied Children from Central America
CLALS released the seventh installment of its Working Paper Series, titled "Unaccompanied Migrant Children from Central America: Context, Causes, and Responses" and authored by CLALS staff Dennis Stinchcomb and Eric Hershberg. The paper is part of a Ford Foundation-supported initiative to inform advocates and practitioners working with new arrivals about factors affecting the recent unprecedented surge in child and family migration from Central America. The paper presents findings around the country conditions ("push factors"), migration expansion in the context of long-term trends, and the new arrivals' prospects for remaining in the U.S. in light of current deportation and policy responses. Download the full text.
Working Paper #5: Emergent Challenges for Latin American Economies
CLALS released the fifth report in its Working Paper Series, entitled "Groundwork for Inclusive Development: Responses to Emergent Challenges for Latin American and Caribbean Economies." Authored by Alejandro Foxley of the Chile-based think tank CIEPLAN, the working paper is one of several publications resulting from a joint CLALS-CIEPLAN initiative aimed at better understanding opportunities and challenges for the region's development agenda. Download the full text.
Hemisphere in Flux Project Publications Available
CLALS released two special journal issues resulting from its Hemisphere in Flux project, a multi-year initiative that sought to better understand the emerging multi-polar order and new regional organizations in the Americas. In December 2013, Lua Nova: Revista de Cultura e Política published a special edition entitled Hemisfério em Transformação with articles by project participants, including CLALS Director Eric Hershberg and Faculty Affiliates Philip Brenner (SIS) and Carlos Portales (WCL), among others. In June 2014, a special edition of the trilingual journal Pensamiento Propio, entitled El hemisferio en transformación: Regionalismo, multilateralismo y políticas exteriores en un entorno cambiante, was released in Buenos Aires. Full-text articles are available for download at the links above.
CLALS Announces Recipients of the 2014 Tinker Field Research Grants
In April, CLALS announced the 2014 Tinker Field Research Grant recipients:
Erik Alda (PhD student in Justice, Law and Criminology, SPA)
Maya Barak (PhD student in Justice, Law and Criminology, SPA)
Amberly A. Ellis (MFA student in Film and Media Arts, SOC)
Leah A. Germer (MA student in Global Environmental Politics, SIS)
Olivia Gilmore (MA student in Global Environmental Politics, SIS)
Laura S. Jung (PhD student in Anthropology, CAS)
Carlos Martínez Ruiz (PhD student in History, CAS)
Katie Sizemore (MA student in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, SIS)
Laura Daniela Stevens León (PhD student in Government, SPA)
CLALS Announces Recipients of the 2013 William M. LeoGrande Prize and Award
CLALS and SPA congratulate the 2013 recipients of the William M. LeoGrande Prize for the best book on U.S.-Latin American relations, and the William M. LeoGrande Award for the best scholarly book or article on Latin American or Latino Studies published by a member of the AU community, for 2012-2013.
2013 William M. LeoGrande Prize Recipient:
Kathleen C. Schwartzman, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona
2013 William M. LeoGrande Award Recipients:
Agustina Giraudy, Assistant Professor, AU School of International Service
T. Garrett Graddy, Assistant Professor, AU School of International Service
CLALS Launches the U.S.-Cuba Archive
As part of the Cuba Initiative, CLALS launched a digital archive on U.S.-Cuban relations. This unique resource offers scholars, researchers, policymakers, and journalists interested in U.S.-Cuban relations a single point of easy access to relevant articles, laws, and reports on the full range of U.S.-Cuban issues. From human rights to migration to environmental protection, this archive includes the best and most current resource materials available-over 160 documents in all-and will be regularly updated.
CLALS Releases First Working Paper on Salvadoran Gang Truce
CLALS released its first white paper, one in a series produced for the multi-year project of research and structured dialogue on religion and violence in Latin America.
Authored by Steven Dudley, co-director of InSight Crime with reporting by Oscar Martínez of El Faro , the paper examines the role of the Catholic Church in the March 2012 truce brokered between rival gangs in El Salvador. Download the full text.
Cuba Initiative Activities
With support of the Center's Cuba Initiative, funded by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, AU Kogod School of Business professor Sonya Grier spent one month (January-February 2013) in Havana, Cuba, conducting research on the development of social marketing initiatives around health promotion objectives. Learn more about Grier's visit and other activities sponsored by our Cuba Initiative.
CLALS Releases First Project-Sponsored Book Publication
Scholarly articles resulting from a multi-year project co-organized by CLALS and the University of British Columbia's Andean Democracy Research Network, have been combined in a volume, edited by Maxwell Cameron of UBC, Eric Hershberg, of CLALS, and Ken Sharpe, of Swarthmore College. The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan in English, New Institutions of Participatory Democracy: Voice and Consequence , and by FLACSO-Mexico in Spanish, Nuevas instituciones de democracia participativa en América Latina: la voz y sus consecuencias. Both are available for purchase online.
2012 Tinker Field Research Grants
CLALS announced the recipients of the 2012 Tinker Field Research Grants: Brian D'Haeseleer, Ph.D candidate,CAS/History - El Salvador; Adam Fenner, Ph.D candidate, CAS/History - Honduras; Milagros Haro, MA candidate, SIS/ID - Guatemala; Douglas Keillor, JD/MA, WCL - Mexico; Lindsey Murphy, MA candidate, CAS/LFS - Chile; Jennifer Yelle, Ph.Dcandidate, SPA/Government - Mexico; Sonia Saini, MA candidate, SIS/GEP - Cuba; Paula Silveira Orlando, Phd candidate, SOC - Brazil; Justine Strom, MA candidate, CAS/LFS - El Salvador; Marcela Torres, Ph.D candidate, SPA/Government - Peru & Bolivia; Tatiana Ware, Ph.D candidate , SIS/IR - Cuba & Brazil; Lydia White, MA candidate, SIS/CRS-Mexico
Latin Pulse Listeners Expand Exponentially
The Latin Pulse podcast distributed by Link TV and iTunes continues growing with the support of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) and its affiliates. The program now reaches more than 8,500 listeners weekly around the world (not just in the U.S. and Latin America, but also in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa including China, India, Russia and Turkey, and more than 60 other countries). Since the program debuted in September, it has featured interviews with 11 affiliates of the Center and highlighted experts and other programs connected to CLALS.
Report Release: Latino/a Development Beyond the School Day
In October 2011, CLALS and SETH's Collaborative for Urban Education, Research and Development released the report: Supporting Latino/a Youth Development beyond the School Day: A process evaluation of Studio R.O.C.K.S.
Scholarships to the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition
CLALS provided funding to the winners of the AU Washington College of Law, 16th Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition held from May 22-27, 2011.
Hemisphere in Flux
The Center's Hemisphere in Flux initiative was the focus of a March 25, 2011 panel discussion organized by the Embassy of Canada, with presentations by Andres Serbin and CLALS Director, Eric Hershberg.
CLALS Establishes Partnership with CentroNia
CLALS Releases Three Reports on Cuba
With support from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, CLALS released three studies of basic needs provision in Cuba in February 2011.
CLALS Represented in Argentina and Cuba
In December 2010, CLALS Director Eric Hershberg participated in two panel discussions: the first, at Centro Argentino de Relaciones Internacionales, analyzing the impact of the 2010 mid-term elections on US Latin America policy and second on the study of politics and development in Latin America at the Universidad Nacional de San Martin, in Buenos Aires. He also delivered a keynote address at the Universidad de la Habana conference on Cuba and the Caribbean.
CLALS Inaugural Reception
AU faculty, staff and students, as well as guest from other academic institutions, policymaking bodies, community organizations, and NGOs, attended the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies launch reception on Tuesday, March 16 at the Katzen Center for the Arts.