This independent study project examines the effects of Structural Adjustment Policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on political participation in three Central American States. Based on the literature regarding the effects of Structural Adjustment Policies, political trust in government, and types of political participation, I expect to observe increases in non-institutionalized participation and decreases in non-institutionalized participation following the introduction of Structural Adjustment Policies. After a three country case study analysis I find that my hypothesis is not supported. There is no relationship between Structural Adjustment and political participation. What possible effects Structural Adjustment may have on political participation are overshadowed by other variables such as levels of repression and security concerns. This is important for criticisms of conditional lending policies and the continued effectiveness of using economic liberalization to promote political liberalization.


Krain, Matthew


International Relations

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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