Costa Rica

Free Trade Agreement Referendum

The Free Trade Agreement Referendum took place in Costa Rica during 2007. The Referendum was proposed by the Government in response to a sector of citizens who had gathered enough signatures for a Popular Initiative that suspended the legislative process of ratification of the Treaty, Leaving Costa Rica out of it. More than one and a half million people participated in this vote, and the win was decided by 51% to 48% of the votes. Participation was relatively high (60%), taking into account that voting is not mandatory and the complexity of the decision - a multilateral free trade agreement. As specialists point out, both YES and NO forces were very heterogeneous. Also, it is noted that the main protagonists in the electoral campaign were not the party leaders but the government on the YES side, and a set of intellectuals and social leaders on the NO side.

Institutional design


Formalization: is the innovation embedded in the constitution or legislation, in an administrative act, or not formalized at all?

Frequency: how often does the innovation take place: only once, sporadically, or is it permanent or regular?

Mode of Selection of Participants: is the innovation open to all participants, access is restricted to some kind of condition, or both methods apply?

Type of participants: those who participate are individual citizens, civil society organizations, private stakeholders or a combination of those?

Decisiveness: does the innovation takes binding, non-binding or no decision at all?

Co-governance: is there involvement of the government in the process or not?

embedded in the constitution/legislation 
Mode of selection of participants
Type of participants
democratic innovation yields a binding decision  


  • Deliberation
  • Direct Voting
  • E-Participation
  • Citizen Representation


  • Accountability
  • Responsiveness
  • Rule of Law
  • Political Inclusion
  • Social Equality

Policy cycle

Agenda setting
Formulation and decision-making
Policy Evaluation


How to quote

Do you want to use the data from this website? Here’s how to cite:

Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2017). LATINNO Dataset. Berlin: WZB.

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