Demanding Democracy: Reform and Reaction in Costa Rica and by Deborah Yashar

By Deborah Yashar

This e-book examines the origins of democracy and authoritarianism utilizing a singular coalitional method of learn questions: What are the stipulations lower than which actors discovered democracy? What are the stipulations conducive to its patience? The e-book explores those questions by way of examining the circumstances of Costa Rica and Guatemala. Costa Rica is the longest-standing and arguably the main solid democracy in Latin the USA, whereas Guatemala has one of the longest and such a lot brutal documents of authoritarian rule in Latin America

The author's clean reinterpretation of those circumstances demonstrates that sooner than the 1950's, the 2 nations commonly related styles of political switch and improvement, together with seven a long time of Liberal authoritarian rule starting within the 1870's, slightly below a decade of democratic reforms within the 1940's, and short yet consequential counterreform activities that overthrew the democratic regimes at mid-twentieth century. Why did Costa Rica emerge with a permanent political democracy and Guatemala with authoritarian rule following those commonly comparable historic trajectories? Demanding Democracy argues that the democratizing coalition's luck in Costa Rica and its failure in Guatemala rested upon its means to redistribute elite estate early on and to workout powerful political regulate of the countryside.

The book's specific theoretical process integrates an research of the stipulations fostering democracy with these conducive to its persistence. In doing so, it bridges arguments that concentrate on democratic transitions and people who specialize in their consolidation. additionally, it strikes past debates concerning the function of constitution and corporation in those techniques via targeting the interaction among old associations that prefer authoritarian rule and the political coalitions that paintings to remake these associations in methods consonant with democracy.

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Additional resources for Demanding Democracy: Reform and Reaction in Costa Rica and Guatemala, 1870s-1950s

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11 By the end of the 188os, telegraphic communication was possible throughout the country (McCreery I990: no). Liberals also founded an agricultural bank and invited foreign investment. But most significantly, the government issued a series of measures to enhance the emerging coffee producers' access to lands and labor. Coffee producers sought rich agricultural lands in the west and the Verapaces provinces to the north of Guatemala City. These regions proved particularly well-suited for coffee production.

As Ciro Cardoso has stated, There is no doubt, however, that it was not control over the land which enabled the coffee bourgeoisie to achieve a high degree of economic, social, and political dominance. Rather it lay in their ability to manipulate and combine the three basic monopolies which were fundamental to the coffee trade: the control of rural credit and the processing and marketing of the crop .... To summarize, the particular demographic, historical, and ecological conditions of the country permitted the survival and even the expansion of the smallholding property structure, at the same time as the control of rural credit and the processing and marketing of coffee underwrote the economic, social, and political supremacy of the small ruling group.

Policemen could and often would detain indigenous men to examine their booklets. If state officials found that workers had not worked the required number of days, they sentenced rural laborers either to work on a plantation or to jail (McCreery I 994: 304, 3 I 7- I 8 ), where they had to perform forced labor anyway. In short, the vagrancy laws assured an ample and cheap labor supply for the landowners and state while simultaneously increasing statecoerced control over the rural indigenous population.

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