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Title: The politics of agrarian reform in Honduras, 1968-1978
Author: Sieder, Rachel Henriette
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis provides a detailed political history of the land reform which occurred under military rule in Honduras between 1972 and 1978. Both traditional Honduran historiography and modern treatments of agrarian reform in the region emphasise structural aspects and underplay the importance of more subjective and cultural factors. Here a structural analysis based on documentary sources is complemented by interview material to highlight the role of subjective factors and the political effects of the reform process. Honduran politics in the 1970s involved a degree of negotiation absent in other countries in the region, and it is argued that the reform process transformed patronage networks which had evolved as a consequence of local and national patterns of historical development. Chapters 1 and 2 survey the main features of Honduran development since the colonial period. Chapter 3, covering the period 1968-1972, analyzes the immediate reasons for the emergence of military reformism. Subsequently, the specific nature of Honduran military reformism or "populism" is assessed (chapter 4). In chapters 5 and 6, an examination of policy formation and implementation analyzes the technical and political aspects of the land reform policy together. The main body of the thesis (chapters 7,8 and 9) details how agrarian reform was shifted off the state agenda, paying particular attention to processes at play in state-campesino relations and assessing the reform's final outcome. Whilst agreeing with the existing literature that the socio-economic impact of the agrarian reform was decidedly limited, the thesis argues that the political effects have been significant and at least partially explain the relative political stability of Honduras in the 1980s and 1990s. The demobilization of popular protest which occurred at the end of the 1970s is not sufficiently explained by sole reference to the amount of land distributed through the agrarian reform. Rather, demobilization was the outcome of a complex interplay of structural and conjunctural factors throughout the period of the reform.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available