Modernism, democracy, and the Nicaraguan Revolution: An analysis of the theoretical dualism guiding the revolutionary objectives of the Sandinista National Liberation Front

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

John W. Murphy - Committee Chair


The democratic failure of the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (FSLN), in their guidance and management of the Nicaraguan revolutionary process, has been the subject of much research and discussion. Most of the academic work that addresses this issue attributes the failures of Sandinista democracy to the inherent caudillismo that is typical of Latin American politicians and/or to the circumstances brought about by the external structural factors of war and economic embargo. These explanations, however, fail to address the implications of the modernist philosophical assumptions that underpinned the FSLN's project. The aim of this dissertation, therefore, is to fill the current gap in the analyses of the failed Sandinista democratic endeavor by examining the theoretical context of this investigation, specifically the theoretical criticisms lodged against modernity. This dissertation examines the Nicaraguan Revolution and the revolutionary program of the Frente Sandinista in light of the rejection of dualism provided by the narratives of "post-modern" and 'post' Marxist authors, activists, and educators. In doing so, this dissertation advances the theoretical basis for democratic action and participation that responds to the actual needs and considerations of persons, and is therefore anti-authoritarian and anti-elitist. Given this course of research, this work makes a contribution to the literature on the Nicaraguan Revolution, "post-modernism", Marxism and 'post' Marxism, and analyses of democracy and democratic participation.


History, Latin American; Sociology, Theory and Methods; Political Science, General

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