Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Political Culture and Institutional Development in Costa Rica and Nicaragua
World Making in the Tropics


  • Date Published: October 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521120401

£ 31.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Democracy's checkered past and uncertain future in the developing world still puzzles and fascinates. In Latin America, attempts to construct resilient democracies have been as pervasive as reversals have been cruel. This book is based on a wealth of original historical documents and contemporary interviews with prominent political actors and analyses five centuries of political history in these paradigmatic cases of outstanding democratic success and abysmal failure. It shows that while factors highlighted by standard explanations matter, it is political culture that configures economic development, institutional choices and political pacts in ways that directly affect both democracy's chances and its quality. But it also claims that political culture is a dynamic combination of rational and normative imperatives that define actors' views of the permissible, shape their sense of realism, structure political struggles and legitimate the resulting distribution of power.

    • Advances a theory of political culture that is broadly applicable, and should be of interest to all scholars of comparative politics
    • Rigorously tests the theory against alternative explanations in two 'most different' cases, Costa Rica and Nicaragua
    • Provides an unusually colourful and rich, readable narrative of these countries' political cultural development
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521120401
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Theoretical overview
    2. Manichean identities and normative scheming: origins
    3. Orphans of Empire: constructing national identities
    4. Post-colonial paths: rhetorical strategies and frames
    5. Costa Rica: possibility mongers
    6. Nicaragua: hybrid arbitration
    7. Tropical histories: paradise and Hell on Earth
    8. Transition: familiar novelties.

  • Author

    Consuelo Cruz, Tufts University, Massachusetts

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.