Costa Rica's Neo-Realist Foreign Policy: Lifting the Veil Hiding the Discursive Co-Optation of Human Rights, Human Security, and Cosmopolitan Official Rhetoric

International Journal of Arts & Sciences Conference, Orlando, 2009

30 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2008

Date Written: November 27, 2008

Abstract

The foreign policy of Costa Rica has always been characterized by its emphasis on pacifism and human rights. As one of the few nation states lacking an army, it has carefully constructed an image of peace and democracy in a region historically plagued by political turmoil. This small Central American nation has taken advantage of the soft power created by taking a high moral ground on issues of international relations. The present paper undertakes a critical discursive analysis of the second Arias administration. By focusing on the presidency of the former Nobel Peace Prize winner, it is possible to analyze the press releases, speeches, and other government statements released during an exemplary period of Costa Rican diplomatic history. The transfer of recognition from Taipei to Beijing provides a brief glimpse at the neo-realist strategy being pursued by the Arias administration behind the veil of innocence provided by the co-optation of human rights, human security, pacifist, and cosmopolitan discourses. Moreover, the strategic importance of the government's human rights rhetoric is revealed through a detailed analysis of the process leading up to and directly following the recognition of Beijing through the application of a constructivist model of norm socialization, the Parallel Cycles Model of Norm Socialization. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possible application of the two-pronged method of critical discourse analysis combined with a constructivist interpretation of norm socialization to the foreign policy of other Latin American countries and its possible contribution to an improved understanding of the internal dynamics of this region.

Keywords: Costa Rica's Foreign Policy, Central America, Taiwan, China

Suggested Citation

von Feigenblatt, Otto Federico, Costa Rica's Neo-Realist Foreign Policy: Lifting the Veil Hiding the Discursive Co-Optation of Human Rights, Human Security, and Cosmopolitan Official Rhetoric (November 27, 2008). International Journal of Arts & Sciences Conference, Orlando, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1308290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1308290

Otto Federico Von Feigenblatt (Contact Author)

Real Academia de Doctores de España ( email )

Madrid
Spain

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