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Trouble in Paradise?: The Erosion of System Support in Costa Rica, 1978–1999

Trouble in Paradise?: The Erosion of System Support in Costa Rica, 1978–1999 <jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Costa Rica has been the real success story of Latin American democracy. For the last half-century, this small country has held free, fair, and competitive elections, experienced regular rotation of rulers and parties, and rarely violated human or civil rights. Consistent voter turnout rates of 80 percent and a firmly entrenched two-party system appeared to be unalterable features of the electoral landscape since the late 1950s. While democracy still seems securely entrenched, the 1998 elections brought a major shift. Abstention increased by 50 percent, and votes for minor parties in the legislature doubled, reaching one-quarter of the electorate. This research note presents evidence that the shift is the result of long-term forces, using cross-sectional survey data collected from 1978 to 1999. Notable declines in the legitimacy of the political system explain the drop in turnout and the rise of minor parties. The study then attempts to explain why this decline may have occurred.</jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Latin American Research Review CrossRef

Trouble in Paradise?: The Erosion of System Support in Costa Rica, 1978–1999

Latin American Research Review , Volume 37 (1): 160-185 – Jan 1, 2002

Trouble in Paradise?: The Erosion of System Support in Costa Rica, 1978–1999


Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Costa Rica has been the real success story of Latin American democracy. For the last half-century, this small country has held free, fair, and competitive elections, experienced regular rotation of rulers and parties, and rarely violated human or civil rights. Consistent voter turnout rates of 80 percent and a firmly entrenched two-party system appeared to be unalterable features of the electoral landscape since the late 1950s. While democracy still seems securely entrenched, the 1998 elections brought a major shift. Abstention increased by 50 percent, and votes for minor parties in the legislature doubled, reaching one-quarter of the electorate. This research note presents evidence that the shift is the result of long-term forces, using cross-sectional survey data collected from 1978 to 1999. Notable declines in the legitimacy of the political system explain the drop in turnout and the rise of minor parties. The study then attempts to explain why this decline may have occurred.</jats:p>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
0023-8791
DOI
10.1017/s0023879100019397
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Costa Rica has been the real success story of Latin American democracy. For the last half-century, this small country has held free, fair, and competitive elections, experienced regular rotation of rulers and parties, and rarely violated human or civil rights. Consistent voter turnout rates of 80 percent and a firmly entrenched two-party system appeared to be unalterable features of the electoral landscape since the late 1950s. While democracy still seems securely entrenched, the 1998 elections brought a major shift. Abstention increased by 50 percent, and votes for minor parties in the legislature doubled, reaching one-quarter of the electorate. This research note presents evidence that the shift is the result of long-term forces, using cross-sectional survey data collected from 1978 to 1999. Notable declines in the legitimacy of the political system explain the drop in turnout and the rise of minor parties. The study then attempts to explain why this decline may have occurred.</jats:p>

Journal

Latin American Research ReviewCrossRef

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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