By Eduardo Posada-Carbó

This ebook examines the method of political and social reform that Colombia has skilled long ago decade. because the dating among the country, the economic system and the society are redefined in Latin the US, Colombia has additionally gone through big adjustments. This tale bargains a Colombian measurement to the expanding curiosity in tactics of country reform in other places. The procedure is interdisciplinary and may be of curiosity to political scientists, economists, sociologists, geographers and historians.

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Additional info for Colombia: The Politics of Reforming the State

Sample text

The people itself. And who summons the people? When? Where? Under what conditions? This is the question to which, in its most rigorous and strictest application, nobody can respond. A simultaneous uprising of all the citizens of a province, at a single moment, and with the same aims and objectives, is a purely abstract thing which is, at heart, impossible. What we have witnessed in our midst has been practised according to the laws of necessity: a handful of enlightened and reputable men have appropriated a part of sovereignty in order to take the first steps in the restitution of that sovereignty to the people.

Begins with the protection of life secured by law', idem, p. 37. See also Kriegel's interesting distinction between 'human liberty and civil liberty' , idem, pp. 35-43. ' Let me acknowledge from the start that this chapter will not strike a perfect balance between these two. In Colombia, as in the rest of Latin America, liberalism shaped the construction of the modern centralised state, the development of citizens' rights, and the definition of national identity. 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.

However while Palacios links modernisation with centralisation, the spirit of the reform goes in the opposite direction. As Gustavo Bell Lemus shows (Chapter 4), the move towards decentralisation has been at the centre of the process of reform. Indeed, decentralisation is seen as part and parcel of participatory democracy. Bell Lemus does not challenge the principle of decentralisation, deeply rooted in Colombian history. However, based on his experience as Governor of AtUmtico, he examines the practical difficulties of giving life to ideals.

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