During the 1980s, superpower rivalry and regional conflicts decimated the Central American economies and eroded political systems within the region. Recent years, however, have witnessed remarkable political change, and since 1990 popularly elected presidents have held office in all seven countries. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of the
Table of Contents
Preface -- Introduction -- Political Parties and the Political Systems of Central America -- The Role of Political Parties in National Political Systems -- Colonial Heritage, External Domination, and Political Systems in Central America -- The Transitions to "Electoral" and Democratic Politics in Central America: Assessing the Role of Political Parties -- Politicized Warriors: The Military and Central American Politics -- Constitutional Framework for Political Parties in Central America: From Exclusion to Participation -- Parties, Transitions, and the Political System in Guatemala -- Party Politics in Belize -- Parties, Programs, and Politics in E1 Salvador -- The Origin and Development of Political Parties in Honduras -- Nicaragua, 1944–84: Political Parties and Electoral Processes -- Political Parties and Postrevolutionary Politics in Nicaragua -- Political Parties, Party Systems, and Democracy in Costa Rica -- Panama: Political Parties, Social Crisis, and Democracy in the 1980s -- Political Parties and Their International Connections -- Projecting Democracy in Central America: Old Wine, New Bottles? -- Esquipulas: Politicians in Command -- The Soviet Union and Cuba in Central America: Guardians Against Democracy? -- The Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Movement in Central America -- The Official Party of Mexico and the Country’s Diplomacy in Central America -- Religion and Democratization in Central America -- The Party Internationals and Democracy in Central America -- Appendix: Political Parties and Elections in Central America
Louis W Goodman is Professor and Emeritus Dean, School of International Service, American University.