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Leslie Elin Anderson
University of Florida (Gainesville, FL 32611-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 7/31/2018

Democratic Enclaves in Times of Trouble: The Politics of Resistance in Nicaragua

A book-length study of the survival of democratic enclaves in Nicaragua.

A major concern about democratic consolidation is the presence of authoritarian enclaves that continue nondemocratic practices at the subnational level. Yet subnational politics is not always less democratic than national politics. In Nicaragua municipal government is more democratic than national government. This project shows how democratic enclaves can protect pluralism and help re-democratize a nation. Extensive research finds competitive elections and a subaltern politics of resistance in municipalities. These local dynamics constrain President Ortega’s oppression. We know that democratization comes gradually, requiring years to seep downward into society. This book demonstrates that the coming of authoritarianism is also gradual, allowing time for defiance. A politics of local resistance in Nicaragua is impeding Ortega’s authoritarianism and may outlast him entirely. The book uncovers a new challenge to authoritarianism: a subnational citizen politics of resistance.