Conference on The Nicaraguan Revolution 1979: Perspectives from Global History


24-25 October 2019

University of Vienna, Main Building (HS 31 and HS 32)

Organized by Laurin Blecha and Martina Kaller, in cooperation with the FSP Global History and the Research Group Latin America of the Department of Political Science (University of Vienna)

On 19 July 1979, a popular insurrection in Nicaragua led by guerrillas of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) overthrew the four-decade-long family dictatorship of the Somozas. In the following decade, Nicaraguan society underwent major changes, orchestrated by the FSLN government and its social, political and economic policies: alphabetization campaigns, land reform, the implementation of a mixed economy, the empowerment of Nicaraguan women, are just examples.However, the revolution was not merely a local event in Nicaragua and Central America. Reactions came from all around the world: the US government, under the head of Ronald Reagan started counterinsurgency actions against the Nicaraguan government, which culminated in the so-called Contra War. By contrast, solidarity movements in the Global North and South tried to defend the progressive and emancipatory outcomes of the revolution and promoted a different image of the Nicaraguan Revolution, beyond Cold War narratives and binary affiliations, like “the Second Cuba” or “Nicarakuba”.The revolution in Nicaragua became a central issue in the context of the Cold War. Scholars have only recently begun to embed it into a global framework. Studies – inside as well as outside Latin America – use to confine their analysis to a national sphere, barely touching upon local or transnational agencies.  In the light of the 40th anniversary of the revolution this conference seeks to reflect upon global, international, and transnational perspectives on the Sandinist Revolution by focusing on the circulation of ideas and actors within the region and in a global context. Therefore, this conference focuses on the global dimensions and political relevance of the Sandinista years (1979-1990) on Nicaragua.

For the full program, please click here.