Working Paper No.25. The Times of Democratic Involutions


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) it is argued 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.


Gutiérrez Sanín, F., The Times of Democratic Involutions, Working Paper No.25 (series 1), 2003, London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 33 pp. Available in English and Spanish.

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