Literature on the foreign policy behavior of economically dependent states holds that they will comply with the foreign policy preferences of the United States, particularly on cold war issues. Regional foreign policies of Mexico and Costa Rica defy this view. Despite significant economic dependence on U.S. aid and trade, both Miguel de la Madrid and Oscar Arias developed peace plans for Central America that directly countered the objectives of the Reagan policy for the area. Pressures resulting from (a) regional security threats, (b) the flow of refugees into Costa Rica and Mexico, (c) the foreign policy traditions of each country, and (d) the need to counteract the effects of dependence guided these presidents to accept the risks of a defiant foreign policy in order to satisfy local demands. Even though heavily dependent and under pressure from the U.S. government to comply with its regional foreign policy, Mexico and Costa Rica implemented policies that served their own national interests and defied Washington.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science