I use the Dominican Republic as a case study to reflect on issues of social development, state formation, religion, politics, social movements, citizenship, and democracy. My explorations of Dominican society began with a monograph on State and Society in the Dominican Republic (Westview Press, 1995), an essay that provides an interpretation of Dominican society through the 19th and 20th centuries. As a follow up to this research, in collaboration with Dr. Hobard Spalding, I edited The Dominican Republic Today, a book that explains the transformation of Dominican society in the 1980s (The Buildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, 1995).
More recently, I published The Catholic Church and Power Politics in Latin America. The Dominican Case in Comparative Perspectives (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007). This monograph examines the role of the Catholic Church in political mediation in five Latin American nations. It was translated into Spanish in 2009 and, in 2010, the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic gave it the National Book Award in recognition for its contribution to the understanding of Dominican society.
In 2015, I completed In Search of Citizenship: Social Movements and Democratization in the Dominican Republic, a monograph that analyzes a variety of social movements including, labor, peasant, urban poor, teachers, and environmentalists. It explains how, through their social struggles, these movements have contributed to the development of social citizenship and democratization. The Archivo General de la Nacion in Santo Domingo is about to publish it as a book in Spanish (2015).
At the request of Palgrave McMillan, I am working with Dr. Carlos Figueroa-Ibarra of the Benemérica Universidad Autonoma de Puebla in Mexico, to edit Popular Sovereignty and Constituent Power in Latin America: Democracy from Below. This collection combines a bottom-up and top-down approach to the study of social movements in relationship to the development of constituent power in Latin America. Presently, I am working on a paper titled, “Social Movements and the Transition from Social to Political Leadership in the Dominican Republic.” This paper will be presented at the International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association’s meeting in New York in 2016.
Emelio R. Betances
Professor, Latin American Studies
Phone: (717) 337 - 6299
Box: Campus Box 0412
Room 110 C
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400
BA Adelphi University, 1978
MA Rutgers University, 1982
PhD Rutgers University, 1989