The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
These passages by Alaine Rouquié, a French political scientist, are excerpted from his book, Amérique latine. Introduction à l’Extrême-Occident (1989). Rouquié considers the lack of unity in Latin America and the problems encountered when using the term “Latin American,” as attributable to geographical and cultural problems. Rouquié also considers the complexities of the term “Latin”; for example, he explains that its usage can be questioned in Guatemala where half the population is of Mayan descent and speaks Maya-Quiché. He comments that the construct of Latin America is “neither entirely cultural nor specifically geographical.” While arguing the idea of Latin America not being united, he also argues that the region is linked in its unique economic relationship with the United States. He describes the continent as a “peripheral America” that has been invented by and belongs to Western culture. Rouquié also describes social tensions and the economic disparities between social classes.
The following passages are excerpts from the book by French political scientist and former ambassador to Brazil (2000–03), Alain Rouquié, who has written prolifically on Latin America throughout his long career. Rouquié published this text in Paris in 1987 (Paris, aux Éditions du Seuil); this translation, however, is from a 1997 reprint (Paris, aux Éditions du Seuil). There is also a widely popular Spanish edition, America Latina: introduccion al Extremo Occidente (first edition, Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1989).