A Nicaraguan Exceptionalism? Debating the Legacy of the Sandinista Revolution

Edited by Hilary Francis
21 February 2020
229 × 152 mm
212 pp
Paperback: 978-1-908857-57-6
ePub: 978-1-908857-78-1
PDF: 978-1-908857-77-4

In recent years, child migrants from Central America have arrived in the United States in unprecedented numbers. But whilst minors from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador make the perilous journey to the north, their Nicaraguan peers have remained in Central America. Nicaragua also enjoys lower murder rates and far fewer gang problems when compared with her neighbours.

Why is Nicaragua so different? The present government has promulgated a discourse of Nicaraguan exceptionalism, arguing that Nicaragua is unique thanks to heritage of the 1979 Sandinista revolution. This volume critically interrogates that claim, asking whether the legacy of the revolution is truly exceptional. An interdisciplinary work, the book brings together historians, anthropologists and sociologists to explore the multifarious ways in which the revolutionary past continues to shape public policy - and daily life - in Nicaragua’s tumultuous present. 

Introduction by Hilary Francis, University of London

1. The Revolution Was So Many Things… by Fernanda Soto, Universidad Centroamericana

2. Nicaraguan Legacies:  Advances and Setbacks in Feminist and LGBT Activism by Florence Babb, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

3. What Difference Could a Revolution Make? Vice, Violence and Policing in Nicaragua Before and After 1979 by Robert Sierakowski, University of the West Indies, Mona.

4. The 80’s Agrarian Reform in Nicaragua: Lights and Shadows of its Legacy  by José Luis Rocha, Universidad Centroamericana

5. The Difference the Revolution Made: Comparing Decision-Making in Liberal and Sandinista Communities by Hilary Francis, University of London

6. Liberation and Ayuda: the Ecclesiales de Base in Rural Nicaragua by David Cooper, University College London

7. Nicaraguan Food Policy between Self-Sufficiency and Dependency by Christiane Berth, Institute of European Global Studies, University of Basel

8. On Nicaraguan Ideas of Exceptionalism and the Importance of Past Connections to the Soviet Union by Johannes Wilm, Goldsmiths College London

Conclusion by Justin Wolfe, Tulane University

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