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Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos

On-line version ISSN 2215-4175Print version ISSN 0377-7316


FRAJMAN, Eduardo. Costa Rica 2016: Elections, cantonal parties and local autonomy. Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos [online]. 2017, vol.43, pp.373-392. ISSN 2215-4175.

The presence and importance of county-level political parties in Costa Rica has increased over the last two decades. This study outlines the participation of county-level parties in the municipal elections of 2016 and analyzes the role that, from their own perspective, they play in national politics. The study is based on a qualitative analysis of media reports, party documents and telephone interviews with party leaders. The main conclusion is that county-level parties see themselves as participating in a process of national redemocratization founded on local grassroots political activity. They are aware, at the same time, of the important obstacles that stand in their way of gaining protagonism in national politics.

Keywords : Costa Rica; county-level parties; local politics, decentralization; democracy.

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