Systems of Violence, Second Edition
The Political Economy of War and Peace in Colombia
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Illustrations
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In February 2012, exactly one decade after the last round of dialogues between representatives of the Colombian government and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP) ended in Caguán, secret exploratory talks between the parties began in Cuba. In late August, the parties signed a framework agreement for the renewal of peace talks. Th e agreement, the ...
Notes to the Second Edition
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What brought the idea of this revised edition about was a coincidence. I was strolling between the stands of the Book Exhibition at the American Political Science Association when I came across the SUNY Press exhibit and press editor Dr. Michael Rinella. Aft er exchanging pleasantries he asked if I were interested in a second edition of my book since the fi rst edition fared very ...
Chapter 1: The Contours and the Theory
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Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America aft er Brazil and Mexico, and as of 2012 is fourth in size in gross domestic production aft er Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. It was among the very few countries in the region with almost uninterrupted positive economic growth since the mid-1940s. Such development led to a common saying in Colombia that “it ...
Chapter 2: Institutional Failure: Genesis of the War System
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Theories of state and revolution as Negri1 contends must assume that war is normal as long as class and other cleavages cannot be negotiated by peaceful means. Colombia’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century history is a case in point, where historical continuities and discontinuities can be seen in the several waves of civil wars that have engulfed the country. This ...
Chapter 3: The Military and the Comfortable Impasse
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This chapter introduces the military as one of the organizations that helped in creating and perpetuating the war system. It addresses three main questions: (1) why did the military choose a containment strategy instead of one designed to eliminate the guerrillas; (2) how did this containment strategy contribute to the formation and consolidation of a comfortable ...
Chapter 4: Guerillas and the Impasse
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This chapter is grounded on my interviews with guerrilla leaders and informants as well as on a host of other primary and secondary sources. Th e interviews, which were conducted in 1997 and 1998, sought to gather information about the social composition of the guerrillas as well as their current political goals. More interviews were conducted between 1994 and ...
Chapter 5: Paramilitaries, Organized Crime, and the Dynamics of War
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Th is chapter’s main argument is that one of the principal outcomes of the comfortable impasse between the state and the guerrillas was the accelerated development of more than 110,000 hectares of illicit drug plantations in less than a decade, bringing into the war system new destabilizing, yet consolidating, actors: the narcotraffi ckers and their paramilitary organizations. ...
Chapter 6: The Dominant Classes and the Prospects of Peace
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Chapter 5 discussed the new dynamics of the war system the emergence of organized crime and paramilitary groups precipitated. Th e chapter’s last section also demonstrates the main indicators of this new dynamic, namely, the sharp increase in the state’s defense expenditures, the increasing guerrilla and paramilitary costs (human and material), and the increase in the number ...
Chapter 7: Colombia’s Civil War in Comparative Perspective
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In comparative analysis, the method of agreement and diff erence is employed by identifying similarities in the dependent variables associated with a common outcome, such as a war system, and by identifying the independent variables that produce different outcomes: in other words, political and criminal violence that do not lead to war systems. Th is chapter considers ...
Chapter 8: Third Parties, War Systems’ Inertia, and Conflict Termination: The Doomed Peace Process in Colombia, 1998–2002
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Why some civil wars are diffi cult to terminate has become a major puzzle for those seeking to understand and resolve violent confl ict. Th e average duration of civil wars increased in the post–cold war period to 15.1 years from a median duration of 5.5 years in 1999.1 Of the civil wars that started aft er 1945, one-fourth lasted two years, another one-fourth lasted at least 15 ...
Chapter 9: The War System: From Comfortable Impasse to Unstable Equilibrium, 2000–2012
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Th is chapter contextualizes the war-system theory within the growing liter-ature on confl ict duration since the fi rst edition of this book published in 2002. It sheds new light on core shortcomings hindering econometric studies. Th e fi rst section presents a brief synthesis of the rational—choice literature and the war—system theory that this book has adopted as its framework. Th e ...
Chapter 10: Bastard Rentier Capitalism: The Political Economy of Organized Crime in Colombia Sicarios and Caudillos
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...“. . . there is no cattle rancher or an owner of [a] banana plantation inthe rural areas that did not have relationship with the auto–defenses”Private armies and militias have existed in Colombia for most of its twentieth century history, and into the time of this writing in 2012. However, from the so-called pajaros of the 1950s, who were assassins hired to carry out military ...
Chapter 11: Colombia’s War System in Comparative Perspective
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Colombia’s war system proved to be more resilient than most of the civil wars witnessed in the second half of the twentieth century. Th e Colombian civil war has completed its forty-nineth year, making it the longest enduring confl ict in the world today only aft er Burma, which dates its confl ict to 1948. Th e question that has consumed this book is: Why has Colombia’s civil war ...
Appendix: Selection of the Interview Population
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This edition analysis was based on two primary sources archival and interviews. Th e archival material was collected by the author from the U.S. National Archives, documents released by Wikileaks, and the National Security Archive of George Washington University. Th ese archival materials were valuable source shedding light on the changes in U.S. policy toward ...
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SUNY series in Global Politics, List of Titles
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Page Count: 370
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: SUNY series in Global Politics