Arnoldo Alemán Takes on the NGOs: Antifeminism and the New Populism in Nicaragua


Kampwirth, Karen. 2003. “Arnoldo Aleman Takes on the NGOs: Antifeminism and the New Populism in Nicaragua.” Latin American Politics and Society 45 (2): 133–58. doi:10.2307/3176982.

Author: Karen Kampwirth


This article analyzes the campaign of Nicaraguan president Arnoldo Alemán (1997-2002) against organized competitors, what has been called his war against the nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs. Alemán's attacks on the NGO sector are shown to be consistent with the logic of the new populism in Latin America. At the same time, his choice of targets-prominent NGO figures who were often foreign-born and always female-must be explained with reference to the specifics of Nicaraguan civil society and its evolving relationship with the political parties. This study argues that by choosing to respond to the challenges of international neoliberalism and local feminism through the anti-NGO campaign, Alemán helped to weaken democracy in Nicaragua.

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Feminisms, Women, Governance, NGOs, Political Participation Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2003

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