Colombia: The Politics of Reforming the State by Eduardo Posada-Carbó

By Eduardo Posada-Carbó

This publication examines the method of political and social reform that Colombia has skilled some time past decade. because the courting among the kingdom, the economic system and the society are redefined in Latin the USA, Colombia has additionally gone through giant alterations. This tale bargains a Colombian measurement to the expanding curiosity in methods of nation reform in different places. The procedure is interdisciplinary and should be of curiosity to political scientists, economists, sociologists, geographers and historians.

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The revolutionary process with which we are here concerned and which can be succinctly defined as a 'Hispanic Revolution' has, as it were, two faces, each of which complements the other: the first represents the break with the Ancien Regime, the transition to Modernity; the second represents the disintegration of that vast political conglomeration which was the Hispanic monarchy, that is to say that it represents the revolutions towards independence. 22 The Napoleonic wars, like the First and Second World Wars, the col- Colombian Experience with Liberalism 29 lapse of communism and the end of the Cold War, signalled a systemic crisis in the international order.

Although, ideally, these three processes should form part of the same project ofmodemity, they have followed divergent paths, which at times have been mutually conflictive. As a result, modernity has been itself inconclusive; this can be shown by looking at the fragility of the Colombian state. 3 To this aim, this chapter focuses on the complex period between the final crisis of the Spanish Empire and the consolidation of the Republic. It is here that we can identify the emergence of Colombian modernity and the roots of Colombian political traditions.

From the foundation of the constitutional republic to the present day, Colombians have elected legislative and electoral bodies. For the greater part of the 180 or so years which have elapsed since the cry for independence, such bodies have elected the President and the supreme tribunals of judicial power. Since the beginning of the republic (up until the Constitution of 1991, which granted representation to the indigenous people, opened the way for representation of 'black peoples' and created a system of national jurisdiction for the election of Senators), these bodies have possessed a geographical base which has not always been in harmony with the principles of political representation.

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