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Article
Opposition at the Margins: Strategies against the Erosion of Democracy in Colombia and Venezuela
Comparative Politics
  • Laura Gamboa, Utah State University
Document Type
Article
Publisher
SAGE
Publication Date
7-1-2017
DOI
10.5129/001041517821273044
Abstract
This article argues that the goals and strategies the opposition uses against presidents with hegemonic aspirations are critical to understand why some leaders successfully erode democracy, while others fail. Using interviews and archival research, I trace the dynamics of erosion in Alvaro Uribe’s (Colombia) and Hugo Chávez’s (Venezuela) administrations. I show that during the first years of these governments, the opposition in both countries had some institutional leverage. The Colombian opposition used that leverage. It resorted to institutional and moderate extra-institutional strategies, which protected its institutional resources and allowed it to eventually stop Uribe’s second reelection reform. The Venezuelan opposition forsook that leverage and chose radical extra-institutional strategies instead. The latter cost it the institutional resources it had, and helped Chávez advance more radical reforms.
Citation Information
“Opposition at the Margins: Strategies Against The Erosion of Democracy in Colombia and Venezuela”inComparative Politics49, no. 4 (July 1, 2017)