Comeforo, Kristin (2007). ""The referendum & freedom": The hegemonic struggle to define authentic participation and public reasoning through the discourse of CAFTA-DR in Costa Rica." Paper presented at the 4th annual conference of the HDCA, 18-20 September 2007, New York, USA.

Sen’s framework could be improved upon by adding a “dominant/resistant discourse dialectic” factor that Comeforo would consider the role of public discourse in the assessment of participation and public reasoning.Can participation that is bounded by the dominant, or hegemonic discourse of the ruling elite be an authentic marker of freedom, or is it something quite the contrary, challenging Sen’s assertion that freedom, democracy, and development are highly correlated? Before assessing the capabilities approach, and engaging this question, it is first important to outline CAFTA-DR as a free trade agreement, and to discuss the more specific history of CAFTA-DR in Costa Rica. It is within this context that the discourse of the referendum will be most comprehensible, and the need to extend Sen’s framework will become most evident.