Capitalists and Revolution in Nicaragua

Opposition and Accommodation, 1979-1993

By Rose J. Spalding

334 pp., 6 x 9

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4456-4
    Published: August 1994
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3990-1
    Published: November 2017

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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.'

Originally published in 1994.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

About the Author

Rose J. Spalding, associate professor of political science at DePaul University, is editor of The Political Economy of Revolutionary Nicaragua.
For more information about Rose J. Spalding, visit the Author Page.


"A careful and fresh historical reading of the Sandinista period. The result is an insightful interpretation which suggests a framework for understanding state/capital relations in Latin America."--Latin American Studies

"This excellent study sets the Nicaraguan case in comparative perspective and makes a very significant contribution to our understanding of the crucial relationship between regimes that pursue serious structural change and the bourgeoisie. It will be of interest to all those studying the political economy of development and reform."--Evelyne Huber, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Spalding's detailed accounting of the development and evolution of Nicaragua's capitalist class makes a major contribution to the study of the Nicaraguan revolution and its aftermath. This is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand Nicaraguan politics."--John A. Booth, University of North Texas