Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Party Politics in New Democracies$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Webb and Stephen White

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289653

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289653.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 May 2020

Political Parties in Costa Rica

Political Parties in Costa Rica

Democratic Stability and Party System Change in a Latin American Context

(p.305) 11 Political Parties in Costa Rica
Party Politics in New Democracies

John A. Booth

Oxford University Press

Arising from the 1948 Costa Rican civil war, a multiparty system developed in Costa Rica under a social democratic National Liberation Party (PLN) that dominated the polity for decades. Small conservative opposition parties coalesced to win the presidency upon occasion. These merged into the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), which challenged the PLN for dominance within the system in the 1990s. Under stresses imposed by neo-liberalism, the Costa Rican party system destabilized in the early 2000s. This chapter traces the evolving system, examines the parties in presidential and legislative elections over time, and discusses citizen electoral participation. It examines major parties' social bases and their evolving legitimacy, organization, membership, recruitment, financing, factionalism, and interest articulation. It describes the impact for the party system of the rise of media-dominated retail electoral politics, depersonalization partisan politics, and the adoption of primary elections. The PLN stumbled badly in the elections of 1998 and especially 2002, but rallied while the PUSC — plagued by scandals in two administrations — effectively collapsed in the 2006 election. Trends suggest increasing instability and volatility of the system.

Keywords:   Costa Rican civil war, National Liberation Party, Social Christian Unity Party, neoliberalism, legitimacy, retail politics, party system volatility

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .