Document Type

Honors Project


Special Thanks to my advisor, Professor Paul Dosh, and my two other readers: Professors Olga Gonzalez and Ernesto Capello.


The Nicaraguan state has historically attempted to control Nicaraguan civil society using corporatist and liberal-democratic frameworks. This has created a difficult organizing environment for civil society organizations to struggle for social change. In this thesis, I argue that civil society organizations, operating in 2008 in a corporatist or liberal framework, were less effective in achieving national social change than organizations that worked cooperatively with the state, yet maintained some autonomy. This hypothesis is developed using the case study of three water rights organizations, and is further tested using the case of corporatist-structured Citizen Power Councils, created in 2007.


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