Precarious Democracies

Precarious Democracies: Understanding Regime Stability and Change in Colombia and Venezuela – Ana Maria Bejarano

 Why has democracy in Colombia and Venezuela evolved in very different directions? In Precarious Democracies, Ana Maria Bejarano provides a comparative historical analysis of how the democratic regimes in these two countries have diverged, following similar transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy in the late 1950s.

Rather than focusing on resource-driven explanations, such as the role of oil in Venezuela and coffee in Colombia, or on short-term elite choices and calculations, Bejarano argues that democratic development in Colombia and Venezuela is best understood from a vantage point that privileges political history, especially the history of institutional evolution. The book makes the case that a comparative historical institutional framework--focused both on institutional legacies from the distant past (such as the state and political parties) and on those from more recent critical junctures (the foundational pacts)--provides the best lens to account for the divergent trajectories followed by democratic regimes in Colombia and Venezuela in the second half of the twentieth century.

  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press (June 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0268022267
  • ISBN-13: 9780268022266