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.