Plan Colombia and the Mérida Initiative are the two most significant US security assistance efforts in Latin America in the twenty-first century. At a time when US objectives in the Middle East and Central Asia were flagging, Colombia was a rare US foreign policy victory—a showcase for stabilization and security sector reform. Conversely, Mexico struggled to turn the tide on the country's scourge of crime and violence, even with an influx of resources aimed at professionalizing the country's security, defense, and judicial institutions.

As Washington reconsiders its approach to stabilizing crisis countries after a challenging withdrawal from Afghanistan, From Peril to Partnership's comparative analysis of Colombia and Mexico offers lessons for scholars and policymakers alike, providing insights into the efficacy of US security assistance and the necessary conditions and stakeholders in partner nations that facilitate success. Crucially, private sector support, interparty consensus on security policies, and the centralization of the security bureaucracy underpinned Colombia's success. The absence of these features in Mexico contributed to the country's descent into chaos, culminating in the country's highest-ever homicide rate by the end of the 2010s.

Drawing on extensive fieldwork, From Peril to Partnership evaluates to what extent security assistance programs helped improve the operational effectiveness and democratic accountability of Washington's partners—Colombian and Mexican security forces. It answers why Plan Colombia achieved its objectives and why the Mérida Initiative underdelivered in Mexico. Most importantly, it goes beyond drug war theatrics and the “one-size-fits-all” approach to US-led stabilization—at once, restoring agency to institutions on the receiving end of US security assistance and helping chart a course toward more nuanced and effective US policy.

Angelo, Paul. From Peril to Partnership: US Security Assistance and the Bid to Stabilize Colombia and Mexico. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2024.

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Dr. Patrick Paterson, Associate Dean for Research and Publications at the WJPC, has published a fascinating almanac that compiles the most historically significant events in Latin America and the Caribbean from 1800-2020, containing vignettes of more than 700 events organized per month and specific calendar day. It focuses on major political and security incidents starting from the period of independence—including armed conflicts, famous battles, births and deaths of important figures, military coups, significant presidential elections, and independence dates.

Also included are detailed appendices addressing important economic, political, and social conditions, as well as an index with over 2,000 keywords.

Paterson, Patrick. The Almanac of Latin American History, Political and Security Events from 1800 to the Present, Rowman & Littlefield, 2024.

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Latin America and the Caribbean are home to just 9 percent of the global population but account for a third of the world's homicides. A lethal mix of drugs, readily available firearms, and unemployed youth is fueling a wave of violence that has taken on epidemic proportions. Ecuador is now ground zero for the region's gang brutality. Whether Quito succeeds in containing the violence will depend as much on how it manages corruption and political instability as it does on the brute force called upon to suppress organized crime. The region's downward spiral need not be a chronicle of a death foretold. In Ecuador, newfound national resolve and emerging offers of international cooperation can be an effective antidote to expanding gang violence. Indeed, the success of one of South America's smallest countries in dismantling gangs and the corrupt institutions that protect them could be a promising start in turning the tide on Latin America's new crime wave.
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The evolution of global geopolitics has its center of gravity constituted by the emerging digital technology of exponential acceleration, which is based on the control or power of information and communications. When making a prospective emphasis to analyze the influence of emerging digital technology, it is observed that it is a bearer of the future through artificial intelligence technology, 5G communications and quantum computing.

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This chapter explores how a commitment to experiential learning, especially via study abroad and academic field studies, can unlock new forms of knowledge and help to expand learning and research opportunities for faculty and students alike. Authors engage the relevant literature and share insights gleaned from their own experiences in diverse teaching contexts, which include extended semester- and year-long study abroad programs, shorter-term academic field studies, and emergency adaptations amid a global pandemic environment. In each case, they highlight how respectful teacher-student interplay and shared critical reflection on the desired outcomes serve to enrich mutual learning and scholarship in areas linked to international relations.

Hamilton, M., Almeida, K. "Living Our Learning: Transformative Impacts of Study Abroad and Field Studies for Students and Faculty." In The Palgrave Handbook of Teaching and Research in Political Science, by Butcher, C., Bhasin, T., Gordon, E., Hallward, M.C. (eds.), 245-257. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.

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Realuyo, Celina B. "The Foreign Policy of Iván Duque's Government" in The Journal of Colombian Foreign Policy: Assessment of Iván Duque's Foreign Policy and Horizons for the Petro Government. Edited by Andrés Molano-Rojas and Federmán Antonio Rodríguez Morales. 51-72. Bogotá: Editorial Universidad del Rosario, 2023.

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Micro-sovereignties have become increasingly important for States seeking to strengthen their territorial control. Micro-sovereignties can have a disproportionate impact in relation to their size and the number of inhabitants that support them. This article offers a definition of the concept of micro-sovereignties and provides criteria for identifying and qualitatively assessing them. It is shown that, in addition to being a challenge to the sovereignty of nations, they also represent an opportunity, especially in democratic regimes, to strengthen sovereignty through networks of pow-er that cooperate with micro-sovereignties, considering their strengths in terms of moral authority and links with the population.
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This article provides highlights of the Perry Center's 2022 cyber policy course, “Cybersecurity Policy in the Americas: Challenges for Policy-Strategic Analysis,” led by Dr. Boris Saavedra.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the post-World War II political, economic, social and international order with many questioning whether our current democratic and economic institutions are suitable for and capable of recovering from this profound health, economic and governance crisis. While democracies and open economies were hard hit by the pandemic, illicit networks including transnational criminal groups, terrorist organizations and their facilitators have proven more resilient, expanding their activities and influence in the Americas. This article will examine the impact COVID-19 has had on the health, economy, democracy, security of the region and on illicit networks. The article will conclude with recommendations on how nations incorporate strategic foresight and anticipatory governance to safeguard their sovereignty and counter to the growing threats from corruption and illicit networks in the new world order.
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