Costa Rica: Quest for Democracy

By John A. Booth | Go to book overview

Preface

This book is the product of a long love and admiration for Costa Rica. The object of such strong emotions has at times proven both rewarding and vexatious, both more and less than one might have hoped. Costa Rica has seduced me again and again with its beauty, its democracy, its institutionalized pacifism, and its scrappily egalitarian people. But its bureaucracy, inefficiency, pride of self, and intolerance have also sometimes driven me to distraction. Perhaps an anecdote can illustrate my point.

In August 1972 I entered Costa Rica for my first long stay driving a Volkswagen camper packed to the rafters with household goods. I had just had a weeklong intensive course in Latin driving and Mesoamerican customs and immigration practices. Of the passage through Mexico and three of Central America's four military dictatorships, I most recall the continuously unfolding physical beauty of lowland and highland tropics contrasted with the ugliness and fear of man-made poverty and repression. But when I entered the Costa Rican border station at Peñas Blancas, things changed. After being ordered to completely unload the car, I sighed and complied, expecting yet another meticulous search for guns or contraband or solicitation of a bribe to grease the bureaucratic wheels. But suddenly, without so much as a glance at our mounds of boxes and bags or our vehicle, the Costa Rican customs inspector said, "You are free to go." I repacked and left Peñas Blancas in a state of bewildered ambivalence -- irritated at having had to unload for nothing yet happily relieved at the absence of soldiers and petty corruption.

In the few feet between the Nicaraguan and Costa Rican border stations, I had passed into a different, far freer, and more open place. Over the ensuing year and a half living in Costa Rica, another year's residence there in 1979-1980, and during many shorter trips through Central America, the striking contrast between the liberty and stability of democratic Costa Rica and the turbulence, repression, and tensions in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua remains my most vivid impression of the region. This book explores and attempts to explain this essential uniqueness of Costa Rica -- its strong democracy and its striking stability.

In twenty-five years of studying Costa Rica, I have had hundreds of conversations and interviews and prevailed upon the time and generosity of many, many people. I could never begin to thank them all. Several Ticos (as the Costa Ricans call themselves), both native and adopted, I do wish to thank explicitly, however, and to ask their forgiveness if I have gotten some of it wrong: Fresia Muñoz Castro, Sonia Herrera Obando, Roberto de la Ossa, José Retana, Colón Bermúdez,

-xxi-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Costa Rica: Quest for Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Acronyms xvii
  • Preface xxi
  • 1 - Latin American Democracy and Costa Rica 1
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Contemporary Costa Rica In Central America 17
  • Notes 30
  • 3 - The Historical Development of Costa Rican Democracy 32
  • Notes 53
  • 4 - The Political Framework of Democracy 56
  • Notes 78
  • 5 - Social Structure and Civil Society 82
  • Notes 100
  • 6 - Political Participation 103
  • Notes 125
  • 7 - Political Culture 129
  • Notes 151
  • 8 - Political Economy in Transition 154
  • Notes 174
  • 9 - Costa Rica in the World 177
  • Conclusions 192
  • 10 - Analysi5 and Conclusions: Can Democracy Survive? 195
  • Notes 208
  • Appendix 211
  • Index 219
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 230

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.