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Faculty Author Series: Emelio Betances

The Catholic Church and Power Politics in Latin America: The Dominican Case in Comparative Perspective by Emelio Betances

Emelio Betances, professor of sociology and Latin American studies at Gettysburg College, published a book entitled The Catholic Church and Power Politics in Latin America: The Dominican Case in Comparative Perspective. This book examines the Catholic Church's political mediation in the Dominican Republic and draws parallels and contrasts with the experience of political mediation in Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. It finds that the Dominican case was especially notable because the church's role as mediator was eventually institutionalized. Betances analyzes the particular circumstances that allowed the church in the Dominican Republic to accommodate the political and social establishment there.

In his research, Betances uses the Dominican Republic as a case to reflect on issues of social development, state formation, social movements, and religion and politics. He has published State and Society in the Dominican Republic, which focuses on state formation and political development. He has published numerous articles in Latin American Perspectives, Journal of Church and State, NACLA, Caribe Contemporaneo, Revista Mexicana del Caribe, Socialism and Democracy and others venues. Betances teaches a variety of courses including "Social Development of Latin America," "Society and Politics in Latin America," "Re-inventing Latin American Societies," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Introduction to Latin American Studies."

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