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Hegemonic Vehicles, Capitalism and Conflict: A Systemic Critique of the Conflict in Urabá, Colombia

López Pérez, Daniel (2022) Hegemonic Vehicles, Capitalism and Conflict: A Systemic Critique of the Conflict in Urabá, Colombia. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97314) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:97314)

Language: English

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Why has the Colombian conflict spanned for so long? With the signature of the 2016 peace agreements, what the world knew about the conflict has become contested. Was disarming the guerrilla sufficient to achieve long-lasting peace in Colombia? Was it sufficient before, when disarming the armed actors was the only priority for former governments? Has violence ceased in Colombia after 2016? This doctoral thesis scrutinises Colombian history to argue that the conflict in Colombia is not merely a war of the society against its so-called "enemies". The armed confrontation that we are used to studying as "the conflict" conceals material conditions and social relations in themselves conflictive. This thesis approaches the conflict as a single unit because only thus we can see regularities and patterns underlying the different episodes of violence. One of those patterns is the systematic lack of willingness by most ruling classes to solve the underlying causes of the conflict. This thesis interprets this pattern as a sign that the conflict has an additional social function. It argues that failure after failure of peace negotiations and processes demonstrate that the protracted social and armed conflict is not merely a social phenomenon but has a function essential to those who have the keys to peace in their hands.

This research deploys a historical and critical analysis of the political-economic conditions and relations in the sub-region of Urabá, Antioquia, to unveil the social function of the conflict that has protracted for such a long time. It explores the relationship between the conflict and capitalism, focusing on practices regarding capital accumulation, dispossession of land and peasants' displacement, and the defence of the private property of the means of production, among others. This research's findings establish that the conflict was historically caused by the operation of capitalism and currently serves capitalism to reproduce and be resilient to its contradictions, crises and conflicts. This work conceptualises the conflict as a hegemonic vehicle, as a historical institution of the current social bourgeois order in Colombia, whose role is to structure social relations by creating situational logics whereby people consent to the interests of the ruling classes. Critically reworking Gramsci's hegemony, this work produces the concept of hegemonic vehicles that interprets the practices that continuously reproduce the bourgeois hegemony within specific historical contexts. We conceptualise these practices as historical institutions that are strategically employed to achieve the consent of subordinate groups through the concession of material and ideational conditions. This work aims to historicise the concept of hegemony and show its dynamism, variability, and flexibility, according to the conditions of the social formation where it is deployed. The twofold goal of this research is to give an insight into the protraction of the conflict. At the same time, it creates a conceptual framework that explains the conflict's social function while contributing to the question of the resilience of capitalism. This thesis interprets the conflict as a hegemonic vehicle, an institution that structures social relations favourable to capitalism-we use this category to explain its protraction.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Azmanova, Albena
Thesis advisor: Guichaoua, Yvan
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97314
Uncontrolled keywords: Political Economy, Historical Materialism, Social Conflict, Colombia, Critical Theory
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2022 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2022 07:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

López Pérez, Daniel.

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