Capitalists and Revolution in Nicaragua: Opposition and Accommodation, 1979-1993

Synopsis

By tracing the complex relationship between the Sandinista government and the Nicaraguan business elite, this book examines the shifting mix of alliances and oppositions that shaped the Sandinista revolution.

Rose Spalding takes issue with models of the business sector that assume a high degree of class cohesion. Drawing on carefully structured interviews with ninety-one private-sector leaders at the end of the Sandinista era, Spalding documents responses to the Sandinista government that range from extreme ideological hostility to enthusiastic support. To explain this variation, Spalding explores such factors as the prerevolutionary social and economic characteristics of the elite, their organizational networks, and their experiences with expropriation and government subsidies. She is one of the first scholars to look at the ways in which these groups have evolved in the postrevolutionary era under the Chamorro government. In addition, Spalding provides a valuable analysis of four other cases of attempted structural change, thereby drawing broader, cross-national comparisons and developing theoretical insights about the political character of the 'bourgeoisie.'