Perhaps the strongest claim made about the Guatemalan peace process is that the peace accords addressed the social bases of conflict. Even those who criticize the implementation of the accords often support the principle that the accords sought to balance macroeconomic stability with social spending, and as such represent “blueprints” with the potential to address the social bases of conflict in the post-conflict state. However, if the Socio-Economic Accord is read through a Gramscian lens as elaborated in chapter 2, the project of constructing neoliberal subjectivity through the social spending offered in the agreements becomes clear. (This does, in a sense, address the social bases of conflict, though in terms that aid rather than mitigate the transition to neoliberalism.) The implementation of the accords has indeed been problematic, though to a certain extent, the failures of the implementation reflect the logical extension of the peace process’ elitist orientation; furthermore, as discussed below, the implementation of the accords reflects the priorities of neoliberal world order. In fact, through mechanisms such as the consultative group of international donors and “peace conditionality,” international actors are directly implicated in the selective implementation of the accords. Thus, this discussion concludes with a reconsideration of the role of peace processes in the neoliberal world order.


Fiscal Policy Consultative Group Peace Accord Social Spending Peace Process 
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© Nicola Short 2007

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  • Nicola Short

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