A Tale of Two Neighbors: A Comparative Analysis of the Processes of State Creation and Regime Formation in Colombia and Venezuela

By: Alexander Mintz '17

Advising Faculty: Alex Hybel

Since the 1980s, democracy has expanded noticeably both internationally and in Latin America.1 From 1990 to 2012, the number of democratic regimes in the world increased from 69 to 117. Of no less significance, in Latin America, by 2008, freely elected governments existed everywhere except in Cuba, and polls consistently showed strong support throughout the region for democratic governments. Although substantial progress has been made, serious problems do remain.

Three interrelated objectives guide my comparative study of Colombia and Venezuela. My first objective is to identify the myriad of obstacles and setbacks that Colombia and Venezuela faced throughout their histories, and explain how those factors affected each nation’s processes of state and regime creation.

My second interrelated objective is to evaluate the explanatory value of existing theories of state creation and democratization, and to propose alternative arguments.

My last objective is to briefly assess the current state of democracy in Latin America.


Related Fields: Government, International Relations