The Institutional Foundations of Democratic Cooperation in Costa Rica
Costa Rica's long-term standing as one of the few countries in Latin America with a stable democracy has prompted many to view its polity as an inevitable outcome of a racially homogeneous and relatively egalitarian society. Without ignoring the importance of sociological factors, this article contends that institutional arrangements played an equally important - if not more central - role in the development of a stable democratic regime in this country. The structure of Costa Rican presidentialism encouraged incumbents to maintain control of the state while it, as a consequence, incited the opposition to rebel against central state authorities. Political competition became more peaceful as parties that failed to hold or to capture the presidency were nevertheless compensated by being allowed to occupy legislative seats.