Colombia’s Political Economy at the Outset of the Twenty-first Century: From Uribe to Santos and Beyond

In This Review

Colombia’s Political Economy at the Outset of the Twenty-first Century: From Uribe to Santos and Beyond
Edited by Bruce M. Bagley and Jonathan D. Rosen
Lexington Books, 2015
354 pp.
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In the United States, the dominant narrative about Colombia holds that the country is a remarkable success story: a constitutional democracy surviving a prolonged and vicious insurgency while diversifying and growing its economy and significantly reducing poverty. The well-edited and accessible articles by leading U.S. and Colombian experts collected in this timely volume recognize those achievements but also maintain a sharp focus on the country’s remaining challenges: government violations of human rights, systemic corruption and organized crime, weak institutions, rural poverty, stark economic inequality, and nearly five million internally displaced persons. Negotiations that aim to end the decades-long war between the government and the guerillas of the farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia)—talks heroically pursued by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos—appear close to achieving resolution. But even if the parties reach a deal, Colombia will struggle to find the right balance between justice and peacemaking, between accountability and reconciliation. Readers of this volume will be ably guided through these topics and others, including Colombian foreign policy and the contributions and sins of U.S. policy and diplomacy in Colombia.

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