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Title:Elite perspectives on three crises of legitimacy in post-National Front Colombia
Author(s):Lepeley, Cynthia Jean
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sofranko, Andrew J.
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Sociology, General
Abstract:The Republic of Colombia is an anomaly among Latin American nations. Despite dramatic socioeconomic and demographic transformations in recent years, this Andean country has the distinction of hosting an almost uninterrupted rotation of civilian presidents throughout the twentieth century. While neighboring regimes have often toppled under pressures from new social groups emerging with the modernization process, the long Colombian tradition of electoral politics has remained intact. The longevity of the regime is surprising not only in comparison with its neighbors, but also in light of its consistently high levels of domestic political violence.
The problem of regime maintenance and breakdown has long interested social scientists, and forms the theoretical context of the present study. Most proponents of theories related to political breakdown and stability, however, focus only on regimes which collapse--ignoring nations like Colombia which experience long-term instability without breakdown. What contributions can the Colombian case offer to our understanding of the maintenance/breakdown dilemma?
With this broader question in mind, this study focuses on three deep crises of legitimacy which occurred during three post-National Front governments. These crises are: (1) The 1977 Paro Civico Nacional, during the administration of Alfonso Lopez Michelson, (2) The 1980 assault on the Dominican Embassy by M-19 during the presidency of Gabriel Turbay Ayala, and (3) the M-19 attack on the Palace of Justice in 1985, during the administration of Belisario Betancur Cuartas. For each crisis, editorials from four major Colombian newspapers are examined with particular attention to the ideologies and strategies of political party elites. The purpose of this study is to explore the dynamics within and between these elites while under crisis, in order to gain a deeper understanding of how such dynamics may contribute to the overall longevity of the Colombian regime.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Lepeley, Cynthia Jean
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026249
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026249

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