Understanding democracy, human rights, and development in the conflict-ridden societies of the third world is at the heart of "Journeys of Fear", a stimulating collection of papers prepared by Canadian and Guatemalan scholars. Edited and with contributions by Liisa North and Alan Simmons, this collection explores the participation of the oppressed and marginalised Guatemalan refugees, most of them indigenous Mayas who fled from the army's razed-earth campaign of the early 1980s, in government negotiations regarding the conditions for return. The essays adopt the refugees' language concerning return - defining it as a self-organized and participatory collective act that is very different from repatriation, a passive process often organized by others with the objective of reintegration into the status quo. Contributors examine the extent to which the organized returnees and other social organizations with similar objectives have been successful in transforming Guatemalan society, creating greater respect for political, social, and economic rights.
They also consider the obstacles to democratization in a country just emerging from a history of oppressive dictatorships and a thirty-six-year-long civil war. Liisa L. North is professor of political science and a fellow of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University. Alan B. Simmons is associate professor of sociology and a fellow of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press