Long hailed as one of the region’s most vigorous democracies, this small Central American country has seen voters swing massively toward newcomers and away from the two traditionally dominant parties.
In recent decades, Costa Rican society has evolved and become less deferential. Political arrangements that worked well in the past no longer meet the country’s needs.
The country’s recent political travails are due not to collusion between the two major parties but to the increasing difficulty of reaching interparty agreements.
Once routinely praised as the "Switzerland of Central America," Costa Rica has in recent years begun to show troubling signs of having a political system that citizens feel is not keeping faith with them.