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Title: Polyarchic peace? : explaining the failure of Colombian peace processes between 1998 and 2006
Author: Tinnirello, Maurizio
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 3473
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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Since the deregulation of the economy in the 1990S, Colombia has experienced two major peace processes: one with the F ARC guerrillas under the Pastrana presidency, and the other with the AUC pro-state paramilitary forces under the Uribe presidency. - These peace efforts have attempted to contain these groups and provide stability for Colombia's political economic system, which since opening to market capitalism has become a hub of foreign investment. Contemporary mainstream literature on Colombian peace processes tends to explain their outcome from agentic approaches that fail to account for the evolution of the global political economic system. I argue that in order to explain why Colombia's democracy has not achieved a successful settlement with insurgents and pro-state paramilitary groups, it is necessary to incorporate theories that reflect the evolution of democracy and global capitalism. Contrary to mainstream literature, I argue both processes have been negative processes for Colombia's democracy. By grounding my analysis in the theory of polyarchy, I contend that Colombian peace processes, even those termed a success, have failed as they have not dismantled the Colombian symbiotic relationship between democracy and political violence. Instead, they have legitimised the current polyarchic system, marked by inequality; repression and political violence, and underpinned by neoliberalism. I term these processes the consensual (democratic) 'legalisation' of repression. These two peace processes have not only failed to break the symbiotic relationship between democracy and political violence but they have facilitated violence and socio-political co- option against progressive social forces. This has allowed for the rearrangement of the political economic system that favours transnational capital over justice and popular democracy. This has furthered and deepened the neoliberal nature of the Colombian political economic system and does not allow for the structural causes of the conflict to be addressed, making the concept of a lasting democratic peace a mere chimera.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available