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The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes$
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Scott Mainwaring, Ana Maria Bejarano, and Eduardo Pizarro Leongomez

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752787

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752787.001.0001

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Giants with Feet of Clay: Political Parties in Colombia

Giants with Feet of Clay: Political Parties in Colombia

(p.78) 3 Giants with Feet of Clay: Political Parties in Colombia
The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes

Eduardo Pizarro Leongómez

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the role of the political parties in the crisis of democratic representation in Colombia. It explains that Colombia's two-party system actually functioned as multi-party system resulting in factional struggle and that the internal fragmentation of the Liberal and Conservative Parties intensified in the 1990s causing a move from an internal structure based on institutionalized factions to one based on personalistic factions or the so-called electoral micro-enterprises. This chapter also suggests that the disintegration of the parties seriously affected the governability of the state and the very legitimacy of democratic institutions.

Keywords:   political parties, democratic representation, Colombia, two-party system, personalistic factions, electoral micro-enterprises, democratic institutions

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