Briefing Paper No.5. Involution of democratic institutions


Based on Working Paper No. 25: Francisco Gutiérrez Sarín, 'Los tiempos de las involuciones democráticas'. It is intended to provide a summary of the principal findings, and an indication of the implications these may have for debates over policy.

This paper examines the political processes whereby earlier optimism for democratic transition in the five Andean countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela) has given way more recently to a general weakening of democratic structures. While none has fallen into open dictatorship, they have all seen a gradual installation of a strong presidential executive, over which controls have been weakened; weaker parliamentary organisations; and traditional parties being supplanted by anti-political outsiders. Dividing recent history into two periods (Period 1, 1960s/70s; Period 2, 1980s/90s) he argues that these countries have gone through a double transition: of political regime and of the development model followed; and that neo-liberal adjustments have not sat well with democracy.


Briefing Paper No.5. Involution of democratic institutions, 2003, London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 2 pp.

Briefing Paper No.5. Involution of democratic institutions

Published 1 January 2003