The country is a beacon of Enlightenment – a world leader in democratic, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth, writes Joseph Stiglitz
With authoritarianism and proto-fascism on the rise in so many corners of the world, it is heartening to see a country where citizens are still deeply committed to democratic principles. And now its people are in the midst of trying to redefine their politics for the 21st century.
Over the years, Costa Rica, a country of fewer than 5 million people, has gained attention worldwide for its progressive leadership. In 1948, after a short civil war, President José Figueres Ferrer abolished the military. Since then, Costa Rica has made itself a centre for the study of conflict resolution and prevention, hosting the United Nations-mandated University for Peace. With its rich biodiversity, Costa Rica has also demonstrated far-sighted environmental leadership by pursuing reforestation, designating a third of the country protected natural reserves, and deriving almost all of its electricity from clean hydro power.