The international politics of post-conflict reconstruction in Guatemala
This thesis examines the international politics of post-conflict reconstruction in Guatemala. To do so, it articulates an analytical framework based on the political philosophy of Antonio Gramsci. The framework emphasises the nature of power, coercion and consent, and the problematic of political subjectivity, augmenting Gramsci's understanding of the latter with insights from Michel Foucault's notion of neoliberal governmentality. Based on this theoretical framework, the thesis examines the historical-material development of the Guatemalan ensemble of social relations into one of counterinsurgent disarticulation. It argues that counterinsurgency reflects the impulse to secure the 'remainder' of disarticulation - the exploited, marginalised, 'traditional' element of society constructed around semi-proletarian labour - a sector of society that is both (re)produced through disarticulation and denied by its 'modem' element. A crisis of counterinsurgent disarticulation leads to the Guatemalan peace process, which involves negotiations structured around certain understandings of democratic participation that protect elite privilege, particularly electoral democracy and consultation with 'civil society'. The divisions within Guatemala's elites are not entirely resolved through the peace process: the accords reflect an unstable 'caesarist' resolution (a form of 'passive' hegemony) that relies o n a coalition of modernising elites, the international community and the guerrilla. This coalition agrees a set of peace accords that would reconstruct the post-conflict Guatemalan state along neoliberal lines, at the level of both society and individual subjectivity. Although the agreements are not fully implemented, the pattern of implementation itself reflects particular neoliberal priorities, while the normative project of peace validates the ethico-political claims of neoliberalism and (re)deflnes progressive politics in Guatemala in terms of the implementation of the neoliberal accords. The thesis thus argues that peace processes may function as technologies for the (re)construction of neoliberalism.