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Decentralization of Development and Nation-Building Today: Reconstructing Colombia from the Margins of Bogotá

Eslava, Luis (2009) Decentralization of Development and Nation-Building Today: Reconstructing Colombia from the Margins of Bogotá. The Law and Development Review, 2 (1). ISSN 1943-3867. E-ISSN 1943-3867. (doi:10.2202/1943-3867.1034) (KAR id:40965)


Responding to an international trend that regards the state as an oversized, unsustainable and uneven jurisdiction that cannot effectively intervene in the economy to promote development objectives, nor impose a proper presence over its territory and population, the reform of the Colombian Constitution in 1991 installed local development as one of the primary strategies to recuperate the nation-building project in Colombia. Bogotá has greatly benefited from the introduction of this normative framework: within the spatial limits of its jurisdiction, Bogotá has been able to achieve a remarkable level of community engagement, measured urban growth and financial stability, as well as high per capita levels of education, health and public utility provision. However, the successful decentralization of state activity in Bogotá has implied an intensification of the systemic violence that traditionally accompanies nation-building projects. Through practices of classification, demarcation and disciplining of space and subjects, Bogotá has used a cartography of legal and illegal urban spaces in order to circumscribe its developmental target. Reflecting upon the contradictions that arise from the encounter between the weaknesses of Colombia's sovereignty and Bogotá's successful development, this paper examines the relationship between development and sovereign consolidation through the multiplication of levels of governance and the creation of increasingly smaller, more accountable sub-national jurisdictions in Third World states.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.2202/1943-3867.1034
Uncontrolled keywords: Decentralization, Development, Local Development, Nation-Building, Jurisdiction, Sovereignty, Globalization, Legal City, Illegal City, Colombia, Bogotá
Subjects: K Law
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Catherine Norman
Date Deposited: 06 May 2014 14:30 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 11:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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