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Latin American Studies | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Gary Prevost, Political Science


This paper examines the role of the state in the implementation and success of sustainable development. It first argues there are certain concepts (capacity building, community participation, and empowerment) inherent in any type of successful development. These concepts need to be realized and addressed by the state in order for sustainable development to be long-term and successful. The examination of both Costa Rica and Nicaragua's progress in sustainable development in light of their respective political and economic development proves how integral these concepts are. Throughout the paper the issue of NGO/IGO versus state involvement in sustainable development is brought up. The successes and failures of sustainable development in Costa Rica and Nicaragua highlight how key the role of the state is. While there are cases in which certain NGOs/IGOs have been proven to have a positive effect on sustainable development, overall the state remains the central figure in implementing any type of long-term, substantial changes.