In This Review

The Politics Of Coalition Rule In Colombia
The Politics Of Coalition Rule In Colombia
By Jonathan Hartlyn
Cambridge University Press, 1988, 332 pp

After an extended period of violence, political breakdown and military rule, Colombia turned in 1958 to a generation-long experiment in coalition government which provided the country with peace, political stability and the underpinnings of economic prosperity. By the mid-1980s, however, Colombia's limited democracy was being challenged by a growing guerrilla insurgency and the burgeoning drug trade. This lucid analysis explains the strengths and weaknesses of Colombia's coalition regime as a case of "consociationalism" akin to the accords in the Netherlands, Cyprus, Lebanon and Malaysia that were devised to tame ethnic and religious conflicts.