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    Patel-Campillo, Anouk DeLessio-Parson, Anne and Smith, Stephen M. 2014. The Role of Institutional Sedimentation, Regulatory Ambiguity and Institutional Footholds in Shaping Alcohol Governance in California and Pennsylvania. Territory, Politics, Governance, Vol. 2, Issue. 2, p. 135.

    Almeida, Paul D. 2003. Opportunity Organizations and Threat‐Induced Contention: Protest Waves in Authoritarian Settings1. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 109, Issue. 2, p. 345.

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    Marshall, Don D 2002. At whose service? Caribbean state posture, merchant capital and the export services option. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 23, Issue. 4, p. 725.


Radical, Reformist and Aborted Liberalism: Origins of National Regimes in Central America

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 May 2001

During the twentieth century, the countries of Central America were characterised by remarkably different political regimes: military-authoritarianism in Guatemala and El Salvador, progressive democracy in Costa Rica and traditional-authoritarianism in Honduras and Nicaragua. This article explains these contrasting regime outcomes by exploring the agrarian and state-building reforms pursued by political leaders during the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century liberal reform period. Based on differences in the transformation of state and class structures, three types of liberalism are identified: radical liberalism in Guatemala and El Salvador, reformist liberalism in Costa Rica and aborted liberalism in Honduras and Nicaragua. It is argued that these types of liberalism set the Central American countries on contrasting paths of political development, culminating in diverse regime outcomes.

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For helpful comments and criticisms on earlier drafts of this article, I would like to thank José Itzigsohn, Kenneth Shadlen, Richard Snyder and the anonymous JLAS reviewers.
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Journal of Latin American Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-216X
  • EISSN: 1469-767X
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies
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