Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook

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Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook offers readers an authoritative tour of a remarkable country, tracing its historical development from pre-Colombian inhabitants and Spanish colonization through rising prosperity in the mid-19th century to current struggles to define itself economically and politically.

Costa Rica combines narrative chapters on the nation's history and the current state of its political, social, and cultural institutions with alphabetically organized entries covering important people, places, and events in its development. Throughout, the authors, drawing on extensive research and their own experiences, highlight the many ways Costa Rica is different from its neighbors, as well as the challenges the country faces in the 21st century's globalized world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook is a solid educational text written for students, travelers, businesspeople, and anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of this beautiful nation."


Midwest Book Review

"This handbook is recommended for academic and public libraries for their country studies collection."


American Reference Books Annual

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword     ix
Preface     xiii
Acknowledgments     xvii
Maps     xix
Narrative Section     1
Geography and History     3
Pre-Hispanic Costa Rica     15
The Conquest of Costa Rica and the Colonial Era     28
Economic Development in the Central Valley: Coffee and Railroads     41
The Rest of the Country: Cattle and Bananas     50
Political Development, 1824-1870     53
Order and Progress: The Constitution of 1871 and the Liberal State     57
Education and Modernization     62
Economic Crisis and Challenges to the Liberal Order     67
The Crisis of the Export Model     75
Machine Politics, Reform, and the Civil War of 1948     77
References     87
The Costa Rican Economy     93
The Exhaustion of the Classical Export Model and the Birth of the Mixed Economy     94
Nationalization of the Banks     96
Autonomous Institutions and the Manager State     97
Coffee and Cooperatives     101
Cattle Ranching and Deforestation in Guanacaste     106
Industrialization and the Central American Common Market     110
CODESA and theEntrepreneur State     114
The Debt Crisis and Neoliberal Reforms     116
USAID and the Parallel State     118
From 1990 to the Present: A New Economic Model with Some Familiar Weaknesses     125
Manufacturing     128
Agriculture     131
Service Industries     137
Social Development     149
References     163
Politics and Institutions     169
Education     170
Health Care     179
Other Autonomous Institutions     184
National Parks, Protected Areas, and Private Conservation Efforts     187
Political Institutions     200
Political Parties     207
The Abolition of the Army and Costa Rican Foreign Policy     211
Institutional Change in the Neoliberal Era     215
Corruption and the 2006 Elections     217
From Gridlock to Referendum in 2007     219
References     221
Society and Culture     227
Urbanization, Population Growth, and the Role of Women     229
Social Cohesion and Political Participation     234
Religion     238
Ethnic Minorities and the Costa Rican Self-image      246
Nicaraguan Immigrants     261
Insecurity and Crime     266
Soccer     271
Arts and Literature     274
References     286
Reference Section     293
Key Events in Costa Rican History     295
Significant People, Institutions, Places, and Events     303
Costa Rican Language, Food, and Etiquette     321
Language     321
Food and Beverages     324
Common Costa Rican Dishes     325
Etiquette     329
Costa Rica-Related Organizations     333
Business and Economics     333
Culture, Education, and Exchange     334
The Environment     337
Costa Rica's Government Representatives in the United States     339
Tourism     341
Annotated Bibliography of Recommended Works on Costa Rica     345
Geography and History of Costa Rica     345
The Economy of Costa Rica     348
Costa Rican Institutions     350
Costa Rican Society and Contemporary Issues     351
Index     355
About the Authors     367
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