Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2015

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Politics

Number of Pages

139

First Advisor

Engel, Steven

Abstract

This thesis identifies manifestations of the third dimension of power within the operations of six education NGOs in Nicaragua. Although varying in strategy and structure, these NGOs are all led by foreigners, primarily Americans, and operate within schools in poor neighborhoods around Granada, Nicaragua. Analysis is rooted in the scholarship on the three faces of power: the first is the “intuitive” notion of power of Robert Dahl, the second is grounded in the work of Schattschneider and Bachrach and Baratz, and the third dimension is largely based on the theories of Steven Lukes and John Gaventa. The third dimension can be understood as the power to prevent grievances from ever being expressed. Data is collected by two methods: first, a content analysis of the organization’s websites, including the mission statements, financial reports, and histories, and second, semi-structured interviews with the leaders, volunteers, and community members affected by the organization’s work. The NGOs' emphasis on attention to students' "self-esteem,” their focus of English classes, and their articulated values and missions, all indicate aims to develop students' worldviews that could structure and thereby potentially prevent the realization and articulation of grievances against the very dynamics that support these NGOs.

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