Come Hell or High Water: Feminism and the Legacy of Armed Conflict in Central America


In Come Hell or High Water: Feminism and the Legacy of Armed Conflict in Central America, Tine Destrooper analyzes the political projects of feminist activists in light of their experience as former revolutionaries. She compares the Guatemalan and Nicaraguan experience to underline the importance of ethnicity for women’s activism during and after the civil conflict. The first part of the book traces the influence of armed conflict on contemporary women’s activism, by combining an analysis of women’s personal histories with an analysis of structural and contextual factors. This critical analysis forms the basis of the second part of the book, which discusses several alternative forms of women’s activism rooted in indigenous practices The book thereby combines a micro- and macro-level analysis to present a sound understanding of post-conflict women’s activism.
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Biographical Note

Tine Destrooper, Ph.D. European University Institute (1986), is currently a researcher and guest professor at the universities of Leiden and Antwerp. She specializes in issues of gender, post-conflict societies, social mobilization and policy influencing in Central America and Europe.

Table of contents

List of illustrations and tables Abbreviations Preface and acknowledgements Introduction PART I: THE INFLUENCE OF CONFLICT AND ITS AFTERMATH ON THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT 1. A social history of the women's movement in Guatemala and Nicaragua 2. Social movement spillover and organizational learning in the post-conflict women's movement 3. Is there a real women’s movement? Cooperation, fragmentation and divisions in the movement 4. Shifting paradigms: womanhood as a political strategy PART II: COMPLEMENTARY APPROACHES TO WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT 5. Revisiting mainstream feminist approaches 6. Indigenous feminism and its experience-based approach to women's empowerment 7. The socio-political value of an experience-based approach. Rethinking strategies of collective action Conclusion: New perspectives for female mobilization Alphabetical overview of interviewees Bibliography Index


All interested in the relationship between international organizations, post-conflict societies and social mobilization, in particular those with a focus on gender issues or on Central America.