Date: May 1996
Creator: Coplin, Janet C. (Janet Cecile)
Description: Understanding how change occurs in lesser developed countries, particularly in Latin America has been the subject of a prolonged theoretical academic debate. That debate has emphasized economics more that politics in general and predictability over unpredictability in the Latin American region. This paper challenges these approaches. Explaining change requires an examination of the politics of public policy as much as its economic dimensions. Second, change in the Latin American region may be less predictable than it appears. Scholars maintain that change in Latin America occurs when contending elites negotiate it. Their power comes from the various resources they possess. Change, therefore, is not expected to occur as a function of regime change per se. This paper considers the treatment of education policy in Nicaragua during the regimes of the dynastic authoritarianism of Anastasio Somoza Debayle (1967-1979), the revolutionary governments of the Sandinistas (1979-1990), and the democratic-centrist government of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1996). The central research question is: When regimes change, do policies change? The methodology defines the independent variable as the regime and education policy as the dependent variable. It posits three hypotheses. The right-wing regime of Somoza was expected to restrict both the qualitative aspects and the financing ...
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