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PART II Central America

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Global Forces and Local Responses

Rooted in an international political economy theoretical framework, this book provides unique insights into the global forces and local responses that are shaping education systems in Central America and the Latin Caribbean (CALC).

The book covers all Spanish-speaking countries of the CALC region and examines the effects of macro-economic pressures, geopolitical intervention, neo-colonial relationships, global pandemics, transnational gang networks, and the influence of international organizations. Chapters analyse the challenges and opportunities these global forces present to education systems in the region as well as highlighting the local efforts to address, mitigate, and counteract them. In doing so, the book illuminates how education can contribute to either maintaining or challenging inequalities and exclusion in the face of pressures from the global to local levels.

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297 nineteen Routes to child slavery in Central America Virginia Murillo Herrera Central America is a region with high levels of poverty, violence and social inequality, which has undergone wars and armed conflicts that have had a terrible impact on its countries, its inhabitants and social and economic dynamics. This situation has made the transition to, and construction processes of, peace and democracy difficult. This is a region that, due to its geographic location, has served as a route to North America and Europe for drug smuggling, labour and sexual

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Thomas Skidmore and Peter Smith, well-known historians of Latin America, characterized the minimal attention that Central America has received from scholars. From their perspective, neglect of Central America: is partly due to the relative paucity of archives, libraries, and research centers in the nations of the isthmus. It is partly due to the smallness of the individual countries, which makes them appear less significant than Argentina, Brazil, or Mexico. And it is also due to the common assumption that the countries of Central America are backward: the

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Introduction Central American migrants have garnered attention from the media, human rights organizations and scholars in recent years. Thousands of men, women and children, named the ‘migrant caravans’, fleeing El Salvador and/or Honduras to the US have headlined mainstream newspapers such as the New York Times , the Guardian and the Washington Post . Human rights organizations’ reports have looked at the reasons why many Central Americans are fleeing their home countries (UNHCR, 2015a 2015b; Amnesty International, 2016 ; Doctors without Borders, 2018

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Introduction As noted in the introductory chapter to this volume, Central America is a region about which comparatively little academic literature is produced that focuses on the political-economic dynamics that constrain education reform. However, one research project stands out as an exception. This research project, carried out from 2018 to 2022 by a network of researchers from the region, 1 was entitled ‘Quality Education in Central America: Dynamics and Tensions among Models of Education and Development’. It brought together scholars from four Central

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85 FIVE The contribution to human development of social policies in the Central American Integration System Guillermo Bornemann-Martínez, Pedro Caldentey and Emilio J. Morales-Fernández Introduction Central America is a region well known for its conflicts, poverty and exclusion. Most of the Central American population lives below the national poverty threshold, but the main problem of the region is inequality and exclusion. Although some Central American countries are the poorest in Latin American, their human development indicators reflect the Latin

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Introduction This brief concluding chapter has two purposes. The first is to reflect on possible paths forward for education and development in Central America and the Latin Caribbean (CALC). Having interpreted each case in the present volume through an international political economy lens, the task at hand is to reflect on the implications for the region. The second purpose is to point to future directions for research and action. The suggestions offered pick up on issues mentioned in this volume about what more can and should be said as stakeholders

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Introduction One characteristic of the relationship between education and development in Central America and the Latin Caribbean (CALC) is its dialectical nature. Although research on the region rarely speaks to this characteristic (see Chapter 1 ), it is clearly evident when looking across the cases presented in this volume. By dialectical nature, I am referring, first, to the reality that education helps to resolve or reduce tensions between the state and capitalism (as was first discussed in Chapter 2 ) and, second, to the fact that the ways in which

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Introduction This chapter concerns itself with three tasks: first, to depict some key historical and regional dynamics in Central America from a political economy perspective; second, to contextualize education reform in relation to international political-economic forces affecting the region; and, third, to outline the framework that informs the analysis and commentary presented in subsequent chapters. In attending to these tasks, the purpose is not only to provide essential background context relevant to all the chapters in this volume, but also to make

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