TITLE

Poverty and Political Empowerment: Local Citizen Political Participation as a Path toward Social Justice in Nicaragua

AUTHOR(S)
Anderson, Leslie E.
PUB. DATE
October 2010
SOURCE
Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table;2010, Vol. 2010 Issue 4, Special section p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
As we struggle to find avenues toward greater social justice in our world, we can sometimes learn about the process by viewing events in a small, poverty stricken nation where citizens are trying to improve their own lives. Nicaragua is a nation with a long history of authoritarian governments and it has been the target of extensive imperialism and political meddling from the United States. These events caused and perpetuated severe poverty and excluded average citizens from participation in their own government and from efforts to improve their own lives. Prior to its popular revolution in 1979, Nicaragua was a prime example of long-standing social injustice. To find the nation moving now toward greater social justice and poverty alleviation is a remarkable story indeed and one that warrants close attention. This article describes what is happening inside Nicaragua today and how the nation arrived at its current situation. The article begins with a brief history of Nicaraguan politics and suggests that dual processes of democratization and de-democratization are underway in this small nation. The article then explains how Nicaragua's revolutionary history has contributed to polarized politics at the national level and extensive citizen participation at the municipal level. I then consider how political science has seen the potential of local politics as a promising source of pragmatic and democratizing politics. The essay ends by noting that the future of Nicaragua's democracy is uncertain and that the international community can play a role in supporting Nicaragua's continued democratization.
ACCESSION #
74030280

 

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