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Housing policy, democracy and revolution: Costa Rica and Nicaragua during the 1980s

Rodriguez, Manuel Antonio Argüello; (1995) Housing policy, democracy and revolution: Costa Rica and Nicaragua during the 1980s. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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During the 1980s, living conditions in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua were severely affected by the debt crisis and by the low-intensity war directed against the Sandinista Government of Nicaragua. The fact that the two countries were ruled by different kinds of governments suggests that they sought to resolve their social problems in different ways; the thesis explores whether or not this was the case. In Nicaragua the Government's social policy was heavily influenced by the Revolutionary origins of the Sandinista regime and the subsequent decisions to adopt a mixed economy and politically pluralist approach to development. In Costa Rica, policy was influenced by the country's long history of political participation, its advanced welfare state and the considerable role played by the state in the national economy. The way that these different approaches informed housing policy in the two countries forms the central core of the thesis. The main finding is that with respect to issues such as land invasion, settlement servicing, community participation and public housing construction while there were differences in rhetoric, there were remarkably few differences between the practice of government intervention in the two countries. In Costa Rica, governments constructed more finished housing units and the general quality of construction was higher; in Nicaragua legislation was introduced to control rents and to expropriated illegal subdivisions. Both governments tolerated land invasions and developed extensive patron-client networks for electoral purposes. In both countries, there was little in the way of real community participation and in both the disposal of public land was the main form of government response to the issue of homelessness.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Housing policy, democracy and revolution: Costa Rica and Nicaragua during the 1980s
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102568
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