Fragmented Hegemony and the Dismantling of the War System in Colombia

Document Type


Publication Date



Establishing peace in Colombia has been an enigma escaping the best intentions of some presidents. The causes of this riddle are multiple. Some attributed it to the nature of the state-making process led by a fractured elite compounded with the state limited resources in a country with one of the most complex topographies in the world. This article tackles part of this puzzle, particularly the inability of any fraction of the elite to establish its hegemonic vision over the others and hence to pacify the polity. It explores why previous presidents who attempted to find a peaceful settlement of its long armed conflict failed and why and how did President Juan Manuel Santos succeed. Against the backdrop of a fragmented hegemony, I analyze two core areas that have received scant attention in the literature, which are essential to understand the previous failures. The role of the United States in the Colombian conflict and the excessive autonomy of Colombia military institution vis-à-vis the executive in conducting the war.

Publication Title

Studies in Conflict and Terrorism

First Page Number


Last Page Number




This document is currently not available here.