How did Costa Rica become Central America’s first successful democracy? How does Costa Rican democracy work? How does democracy survive despite regional turmoil, foreign intervention, and economic crisis? Beginning with Costa Rica’s history within the Central American context, John Booth traces democratic development in Costa Rica through its institutions, rules of the political game, parties, elections, and interest groups. After a review of socioeconomic and political forces, the author examines political participation and culture, political economy, and foreign affairs. The book’s overview of Costa Rican politics is accessible and useful for students, scholars, and general readers.
Preface -- Latin American Democracy and Costa Rica -- Contemporary Costa Rica in Central America -- The Historical Development of Costa Rican Democracy -- The Political Framework of Democracy -- Social Structure and Civil Society -- Political Participation -- Political Culture -- Political Economy in Transition -- Costa Rica in the World -- Analysis and Conclusions: Can Democracy Survive? -- Appendix