Susanne Jonas teaches Latin American & Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She was Associate Chair of LALS from 1995 through 2005, and is coordinator of the “Latinos in California” Research Cluster of UCSC’s Chicano/Latino Research Center. She has been an expert on Central America, particularly Guatemala, for 40 years, with 12 of her 21 books – most also published in Spanish -- focusing on that region. In the last fifteen years, she has become a specialist on Central American migration to the U.S. since the 1980s, and on more general immigration issues, focusing on immigrant rights, legalization strategies and other forms of mobilization, and reconceptualizations of citizenship, in the context of official U.S. “national security” policies (particularly since the punitive laws of 1996 and post-9/11/01).
Her work on the general theoretical and policy issues of migration were first addressed in her widely reproduced article (also translated into Spanish), on “Reconceptualizing Citizenship and Immigration Policy in the Americas” and in her co-edited book, Immigration: A Civil Rights Issue for the Americas (1999). Since then, she has continued to publish a series of policy critiques and theoretical journal articles -- and more recently, articles about the immigrant uprising of Spring 2006. Regarding specific/empirical research, she has participated in a series of projects about Guatemalan and Salvadoran migrant communities in California and the U.S. She has published a number of articles on Central Americans (primarily Guatemalans and Salvadorans) in the U.S. -- drawing on the region-wide, cross-border perspectives gained from her fieldwork in Central America, Mexico, and the U.S.; recently she has written several new articles on transregional advocacy networks for Central American migrant rights (including the roles of Mexican actors). She works actively with immigrant rights organizations in the U.S. and with several institutions in Mexico and in Guatemala (INCEDES, among others). Together with Professor Nestor Rodríguez (University of Houston), she is currently writing a new book, under advance contract with the University of Texas Press, on Guatemalan migration to and migrant communities in U.S.
Her work on migration grows out of four decades of scholarship in Latin America. In 2000, she published Of Centaurs and Doves: Guatemala’s Peace Process (Westview, 2000), which was designated a Choice “Outstanding Academic Book;” it was also published in Spanish by FLACSO/Guatemala in 2000. Her other most recent books, as sole author or co-editor/major contributor (including only those since 1990), are: Globalization on the Ground: Postbellum Guatemalan Democracy and Development (2001), Immigration: A Civil Rights Issue for the Americas (1999), Beyond the Neoliberal Peace (1998), Latin America Faces the 21st Century: Reconstructing a Social Justice Agenda (1994), The Battle for Guatemala: Rebels, Death Squads, and U.S. Power (1991), and Democracy in Latin America (1990). She has also written over 70 book chapters and journal articles (most translated/published in Spanish), and a wide variety of OpEd articles for major U.S. newspapers, including Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, to mention a few-- on U.S. immigration policy and other issues facing Latin American migrant communities in California and the U.S. -- as well as Central American and Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy.