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Global Good SamaritansHuman Rights as Foreign Policy$
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Alison Brysk

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195381573

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381573.001.0001

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The Little Country That Could: Costa Rica

The Little Country That Could: Costa Rica

(p.95) 5 The Little Country That Could: Costa Rica
Global Good Samaritans

Alison Brysk

Oxford University Press

Costa Rica provides an interesting case study of good global citizenship, because it lacks the resources or security of countries such as Sweden or Canada. Although Costa Rica's human rights promotion clearly represents a projection of domestic democracy, this principled peripheral state has pursued human rights at the cost of antagonizing neighboring countries and sometimes contradicting the policies of the U.S. hegemon. Costa Rica did not require wealth or power to afford the luxury of pursuing a principled foreign policy. National identity and international society produced a significant and surprising contribution to global human welfare by a country at the periphery of global governance. But Costa Rica's democratic, internationalist political culture was made, not born, and it struggles to survive the shifting tides of globalization and hegemony. This means that other societies can reconstruct foreign policy in positive directions.

Keywords:   comparative advantage, multilateral promotion, human rights, global citizenship, foreign policy

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