Demanding Democracy

Demanding Democracy

Reform and Reaction in Costa Rica and Guatemala, 1870s-1950s

eBook - 1997
Rate this:
This book examines the origins of democracy and authoritarianism using a novel coalitional approach to examine two questions: What are the conditions under which actors found democracy? What are the conditions conducive to its endurance? The book explores these questions by analyzing the cases of Costa Rica and Guatemala. Costa Rica is the longest-standing and arguably the most stable democracy in Latin America, while Guatemala has among the longest and most brutal records of authoritarian rule in Latin America
The author's fresh reinterpretation of these two cases demonstrates that prior to the 1950's, the two countries followed broadly similar patterns of political change and development, including seven decades of Liberal authoritarian rule beginning in the 1870's, just under a decade of democratic reforms in the 1940's, and brief but consequential counterreform movements that overthrew the democratic regimes at mid-twentieth century. Why did Costa Rica emerge with an enduring political democracy and Guatemala with authoritarian rule following these broadly similar historical trajectories? "Demanding Democracy" argues that the democratizing coalition's success in Costa Rica and its failure in Guatemala rested upon its capacity to redistribute elite property early on and to exercise effective political control of the countryside.
The book's distinct theoretical approach integrates an analysis of the conditions fostering democracy with those conducive to its endurance. In doing so, it bridges arguments that focus on democratic transitions and those that focus on their consolidation. Moreover, it moves beyond debates about the role of structure and agency in these processes byfocusing on the "interaction" between historical institutions that favor authoritarian rule and the political coalitions that work to remake those institutions in ways consonant with democracy.
Publisher: Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c1997
ISBN: 9780585062815
Characteristics: xix, 319 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: NetLibrary, Inc


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

No similar edition of this title was found at SAPL.

Try searching for Demanding Democracy to see if SAPL owns related versions of the work.

Suggest for Purchase

To Top