By Orlando J. Pérez
Two decades have handed because the 1989 U.S. invasion that toppled Panama’s army regime and initiated a interval of democratization. This publication represents the main complete and empirically grounded research of the institutional and attitudinal elements that experience formed Panamanian politics because the invasion. utilizing quantitative and qualitative equipment the ebook strains the improvement of the Panamanian countryside from its early days after independence from Colombia, to the struggles to construct democracy after the U.S. invasion, throughout the presidential elections of may well 2009. The learn uses broad interviews with political and monetary elites, in addition to the main complete sequence of public opinion surveys ever performed in Panama. As such, they supply a wealth of knowledge on democratic values and make allowance putting Panama in a comparative standpoint.
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Extra resources for Political Culture in Panama: Democracy after Invasion
His vice-presidential candidate was Dominador Kaiser Bazán, leader of the Republican Party, and one of the wealthiest man in Panama. 17 While Arnulfo Arias and his movement represented a challenge to the dominant commercial class, Arias himself had married into the Panamanian oligarchy,18 and incorporated many of its members into his political movement. In the end, his movement came to represent sectoral interests that could easily be reconciled with the interests of the dominant commercial elite; Panamanian political culture made this reconciliation inevitable.
Pérez 26 POLITICAL CULTURE IN PANAMA The Urban Commercial Elite and Their Control of Government Given the dominant position of the urban commercial elite, it is not surprising that they held most of the top government positions and tight control over public policy. I have already mentioned how their vision of the Isthmus (as a service center for world commerce) has shaped economic policy-making. 13 Economic policy has traditionally favored the tertiary sector, to the detriment of agriculture and industry.
The Formative Years: 1903–1931 At the time of Panama’s separation from Colombia, on November 3, 1903, the armed forces on the Isthmus were composed of three small units: (1) the “Colombia” Battalion, headed by General Esteban Huertas, a veteran of Colombia’s civil wars; (2) the Second Isthmian Battalion, made up of 200 men, commanded by General Domingo Diaz Arosemena and Commander Pedro de Icaza, both Panamanian; and (3) a police force, in charge of maintaining public order, headed by Jóse Fernando Arángo, also a Panamanian.
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