Modernization Theory in an Examination of Colombia

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This paper examines Colombia’s development and modernization using the modernization theory. The focus is on the changes that have occurred in Colombia due to the social pressures forced on the political elite. The paper discusses the problems that exist with the elite’s control, such as high unemployment rates and corruption in both legal and illegal businesses. It examines the connection to the text involved in the class by investigating Peeler’s definition of democracy and models of civil liberties and civil rights. The paper uses two types of sources, primary and secondary, to analyze how the elite in Colombia has caused a detrimental effect on the political, social, and economic sectors. The dependent variable is the government, while the independent variable is the effect on politics, the economy, and society.

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The focus of the paper will be an examination of Colombia using the “modernization theory.” Colombia has sustained a considerable amount of changes with regard to development and modernization. Controlled modernization was a term used to represent how social pressures forced the political elite to take action. Because of the existence of an all but stable political system, there was significant room for the reigning elitists groups to enact needed social changes. The answer to the people’s demand has come in the way of reform measures that, while they have received a sponsored backing, have been implemented in a cautious manner. I will discuss development and modernization as they relate to Colombia. It will examine the problems and the causes “if any,” of the elite’s control. The problems consist of such things as the sell off state companies to make their economy accessible to foreign investment. In fact even with foreign investment there is a 40% unemployment rate. Also the paper will explore the fact that there is no clear distinction anymore between legal and illegal businesses. Multi-billion-dollar drug empires have not only bought into Colombia’s legal economy, but have raised the stakes a hundredfold in corrupting politicians and in backing guerilla and paramilitary groups. In making a connection to the text involved in the class, the paper will investigate connections to the Peeler text by examining his definition of democracy, and his models of civil liberties and civil rights (a minimum that citizens should participate). It will also examine the “Social Democratic Model” and whether state controlled society would be a benefit, how equality of opportunity is important (especially with elite’s in control). Finally the paper will use the “Stable Personal Environment” test in Peeler to measure why the society is unstable in its current state. Background on current government of Colombia:”Colombia is divided administratively into 23 departments, four intendancies, and five commissariats. The intendancies and commissariats of the sparsely inhabited territories of the eastern lowlands are directly administered by the central government. The departments are headed by governors appointed by the central government, but their administration has limited local autonomy, especially in financial matters. The country is governed by a president with wide executive powers who is elected by direct popular vote to a single four-year term. The president appoints the government. The bicameral legislature is composed of a 114-member Senate and 199-member House of Representatives, both of whose members are elected by the people to a four-year term.”This paper will attempt to show that the elite in Colombia has caused a detrimental effect on the political, social and economic sectors. Examining the reforms of the elitists groups that have helped to modernize Colombia one could come to the conclusion that the problems in Colombia such as a militaristic political system is the result of, neo-liberalism and privatization. The paper will use two types of sources for the research, both primary and secondary. The primary sources will be government research sites on the internet.My secondary research will include sources such as The Andean Cocaine Industry by Patrick L. Clawson, and Colombia : The Genocidal Democracy by Javier Giraldo. I also will be using in class text Peeler.

Dependent Variable: Government (elite’s in Colombia)Independent Variable: the effect on politics, the economy and society.

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