Elections and Democracy in Central America, Revisited - Vol. 10

Elections and Democracy in Central America, Revisited - Vol. 10

Elections and Democracy in Central America, Revisited - Vol. 10

Elections and Democracy in Central America, Revisited - Vol. 10

Synopsis

This volume represents a continuation and significant expansion of the study of the relationship of elections to democracy in Central America that the editors began with Elections and Democracy in Central America.

Excerpt

This volume represents a continuation and significant expansion of the study of the relationship of elections to democracy in Central America that the editors began with Elections and Democracy in Central America (1989). It revisits the topic but goes considerably beyond what would normally constitute a mere second edition or updated version in several ways. First, all the country study chapters in Part I are wholly new and updated--many by new contributors. Second, we have added a section of topical chapters in Part 2 that explore themes and issues not treated systematically in the 1989 volume-- comparative voting behavior, election observation, and the roles of external actors and of elites. Among the most notable innovations included in this volume is the use in several chapters of survey research materials on public opinion, electoral behavior, and political culture. The volume also benefits from an additional six years of Central American political and electoral history, a period marked by the invasion and installation by the United States of an elected regime in Panama in 1989, the electoral defeat of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua in 1990, the definitive end of both the Nicaraguan contra war and the Salvadoran insurrection, the full participation of El Salvador's former revolutionary party in the 1994 elections, and several other elections and regime changes. These developments provide our contributors and students of democratization and of the checkered politics of the Mesoamerican isthmus much new grist for the analytical mill.

We extend our warm thanks to Ken Coleman and Mike Dodson for their valuable comments on the manuscript. We acknowledge the support and encouragement of our departments and universities. We also thank the Latin American Studies Association for accepting the symposium entitled "Elections and Democracy in Central America," which was presented at the Seventeenth International Congress in Los Angeles in September 1992 and provided the first reading for the papers that constitute most of the volume.

The editors have, for more than two decades, enjoyed a frequent, produc-

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