The Legacy of a Weak Democracy: The Colombian Case

  • David Romero-Espitia Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
Keywords: Colombia, democracy, political exclusion, political violence, socioeconomic inequality


The study of democracy in Latin America has been extensive since much of the region transitioned from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments in the 1980s and 1990s. During this period, much of the debate focused on defining the form of democracy that was being implemented by governments across Latin American countries. The purpose of this paper is to extend the research of democracy in Latin America. This article uses Colombia as a case study to identify the three most significant challenges to democracy in the region: political exclusion, political violence, and socioeconomic inequality. Political exclusion, political violence, and social inequality are deeply rooted in Colombia’s long history of conflict and confrontation. Political exclusion and political violence have become practices ingrained in the political behaviour of the regime and has shaped the interaction between the state and civilians, while social inequality has led to the decrease of political representation and a weak democracy.
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