The Central America depicted in the article under review resembles a region visited by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—colonial Conquest, civil War, Famine and other natural disasters, and poverty, disease and Death. Added to this list of woes are the recent drug-fueled conflict, democratic instability, weak state capacity, and the socio-economic fallout of the economic recession in the United States. While the first half of the article records these problems, the author shifts gears in the second half and provides an array of responses to these challenges, with a forceful recommendation that states in the region focus their efforts on correcting course on their policies. However, missing from this assessment of the state of Central America are three elements: the impracticalities of an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to complex issues; the limitations of state-centric solutions; and the role of domestic and international actors in assisting with the direction and implementation of such solutions.

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