"Twenty years have passed since the 1989 U.S. invasion that toppled Panama's military regime and initiated a period of democratization. This book represents the most comprehensive and empirically grounded analysis of the institutional and attitudinal factors that have shaped Panamanian politics since the invasion. Using quantitative and qualitative methods the book traces the development of the Panamanian nation-state from its early days after independence from Colombia, to the struggles to build democracy after the U.S. invasion, through the presidential elections of May 2009. The study makes use of extensive interviews with political and economic elites, as well as the most comprehensive series of public opinion surveys ever conducted in Panama. As such, they provide a wealth of data on democratic values and allow placing Panama in a comparative perspective"--Provided by publisher.