Paradise Transformed?: CAFTA and Costa Rica's New Politics
Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Following a worrying period of decreasing citizen participation in politics, social instability, and an unpopular government, Costa Rican democracy has recovered its vitality. The catalyst for this transformation has been the debate around CAFTA. Both sides have shown a willingness to respect democratic rules and institutions, as policymaking has ceased to be the purview of political elites and political leaders have had to contend with a broad network of citizen activists demanding transparency and accountability.