History of Paraguay

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Paraguay has been shaped by three main overarching influences. First, geographical isolation has led to a strong sense of difference from its neighbours, epitomized in the prevalence of Guaranı´ rather than Spanish as the preferred language of the majority of the population, despite the fact that Paraguay has only a very small and marginalized indigenous population. Second, its landlocked position between two regional superpowers, Argentina and Brazil, both of which have competed for influence, has greatly shaped Paraguayan development. Thirdly, the experience of sporadic but brutal conflict, in particular international conflict, has played a central role in the country’s politics, culture and identity. Isolation and conflict have in turn contributed to the creation of an ‘authoritarian tradition’ of political leadership and practice, which continues to impede democratic governance while fostering high levels of corruption, poverty and inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSouth America, Central America and the Caribbean 2016
ISBN (Print)9781857437850
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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