Nicaragua continues to struggle after decades of violent conflict fueled by political polarization, inequality, poverty, and the exclusion of indigenous and other marginalized groups. Over the past several years, however, there has been a strong push to organize citizens across ideological and political divides to create a demand for peace and secure a voice for all Nicaraguans in governing. USIP supports local democratic actors, including religious leaders and youth peacebuilders, to bolster their efforts to promote channels of dialogue and consensus-building to help to overcome damaging polarization and strengthen the country’s social fabric.
In the last two months, dictators in Sudan and Algeria were forced to step down because of popular pressure, demonstrating the power of nonviolent resistance to movements in places like Nicaragua and Venezuela. “When large numbers of people engage in various forms of noncooperation … that is where the real power of nonviolent resistance comes from,” says Maria Stephan.
Only a few months ago Nicaragua was a spectator to the turmoil in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that has led to a massive exodus of families seeking refuge by traveling north. Sadly because of the current tumult in Nicaragua, a new refugee crisis could be on the way. To prevent further escalation, the opposition and the Catholic Church should loudly and strategically embrace nonviolent discipline.
Analyzing nineteen cases, Framing the State in Times of Transition offers the first in-depth, practical perspective on the implications of constitution-making procedure, and explores emerging international legal norms.