Leftist parties, neoliberal policies, and reelection strategies - The case of the PLN in Costa Rica
Abbreviated Journal Title
Comp. Polit. Stud.
JAMAICA; Political Science
How do leftist parties in government abandon their traditional economic development programs, adopt neoliberal policies, and still win reelection? This article examines the case of the leftist National Liberation Party (PLN) in Costa Rica to explain this unexpected outcome. The author argues that the explanation lies on two separate but related level, those of institutional rules and policy implementation strategies. Institutional rules constrain the behavior of political actors in multiple ways and structure political interaction. However, governments also employ specific policy implementation strategies (e.g., obfuscation, compensation, division, and incrementalism) to adopt unpopular policies while reducing electoral costs. As a result, opposition to the reforms is more difficult to organize and potential negative consequences are difficult to identify for voters. The institutional rules and the strategies that governments employ can account for the seeming paradox of a leftist party repeatedly abandoning its electoral promises, adopting neoliberal policies, and still winning reelection.
Comparative Political Studies
Article; Proceedings Paper
"Leftist parties, neoliberal policies, and reelection strategies - The case of the PLN in Costa Rica" (1999). Faculty Bibliography 1990s. 2899.