Understanding Populism and Political Participation: The Case of Nicaragua
In recent years, public opinion polls throughout Latin America have identified a great deal of popular dissatisfaction with the institutions of democratic governance and with existing channels of political representation. Last year, the Latin American Program convened the seminar "Understanding Populism and Political Participation" to examine new forms of political participation and state-civil society interaction in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. This conference sought to understand the extent to which of these countries' governments had responded with new or innovative programs, and what the resulting consequence for liberal democracy has been. This bulletin contains the observations of three distinguished analysts of Nicaraguan politics: Carlos F. Chamorro is the editor of the weekly paper Confidencial; economist Edmundo Jarquín, who was the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) candidate in the 2006 presidential elections; and Alejandro Bendaña is president of the Center for International Studies.