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THE BIG QUESTION — January 22, 2009

THE BIG QUESTION is a new multimedia project on the World Policy Blog. Every month, our editorial team will investigate a pressing global question, provide context and analysis, and feature answers from internationally renowned experts.

Today, THE BIG QUESTION looks at the aftermath of the recent military coup in Honduras, and what it portends for politics in both Honduras and Central America more generally.

Click on the first slide below to scroll through the presentation.

Formatted and written by editorial assistants: Elizabeth Allen, Max Currier, Emily Marzulli, and Josh Sanburn.

Editor's Note:

In the week following the publication of this piece, we witnessed a lively debate unfold in the comments section of the blog concerning the precise nature of the constitutional referendum that Manuel Zelaya sought to put before the Honduran people. As Rosemary A. Joyce points out, correctly, the referendum itself made no mention of altering Honduras's constitution with regard to presidential term limits. Kevin Casas-Zamora, meanwhile, concurred, but noted that with regard to the interpretation of Zelaya's intent, observers should distinguish between the letter of the referendum and its spirit. For those readers interested in pursuing these debates further, see our reading suggestions below.

Further Reading:

Cassel, Doug. “Honduras: Coup d’Etat in Constitutional Clothing?” American Society of International Law, July 29, 2009.
Rosemary A. Joyce and Russell Sheptak. Blog: “Honduras Coup 2009.”
Thale, Geoff. “Behind the Honduran Coup,” Foreign Policy in Focus, July 1, 2009.
Vickers, George, “The Sham Elections in Honduras,” Foreign Policy, November 25, 2009.
Honduras elects Porfirio Lobo as new president,”T he Guardian, November 30, 2009.
Q&A: Crisis in Honduras,” BBC News, November 30, 2009.
The Careful U.S. Diplomacy on Honduras,” Council on Foreign Relations, July 9, 2009.
Blog: “Honduras Crisis: The Truth Told by the Honduran People to the World.”
U.S. has bungled Honduran crisis,” Los Angeles Times editorial, December 1, 2009.
Constitutional Crisis in Honduras: An Expert Q&A by Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Director, Americas Program,” The Carter Center, July 13, 2009.

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