Religion & Democracy in Central America

SIRCS has been associated with two research projects on religion and democracy in Central America:

Pentecostalized Religion, Political Culture, and Democracy in Central America

Collaborated with colleagues in three countries of Central America, led by the Instituto de Opinión Publica of the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” (UCA), studying the impact on political culture by four religious movements in the region: Pentecostal Christianity, the Catholic Charismatic Movement, and Traditional and Liberationist Catholicism. This research strove to analyze how specific Pentecostal and Charismatic religious practices shape civil society and social capital in these communities, with other religious traditions as contrast cases. Funded by The John Templeton Foundation via the University of Southern California's Center on Religion and Civic Culture. Research publications from this project currently under development. 

Democratic Organizing in Central America

Since 2005, the US-based PICO National Network has been extending its work to Central America, under the auspices of the Catholic Church in the region. This research project traces the development of this trans-national social movement, and will ultimately use a cross-national comparative perspective to compare the impact of differing social capital, civil society, church, and state structures on democratic work in different national contexts within the region.