Accepted paper:

The insurgent nation in Colombia: tensions on how to be revolutionaries in the aftermath of the peace process


Nicolas Espinosa (University of Arizona)

Paper short abstract:

I explore the changing socio-political environment that “insurgent communities” in Colombia are facing as a result of the ongoing peace process. Especially, how these communities are thinking the future institutional scenarios to address both the post-conflict peace, and the violence.

Paper long abstract:

After more than 50 years of civil war in Colombia, since 2012 the government and the guerrillas are negotiating a peace process in La Havana, Cuba. Despite the fact that during the last decade the Army has been able to defeat the guerrillas in many regions, the insurgency is still active in at least half of the national territory. La Sierra de La Macarena is one of the regions, and the focus of my attention, where the guerrillas are still political and military active. I have conducted long-term ethnographic research in La Macarena about everyday forms of violence, and the conditions for the configuration of political spaces under war conditions. I am currently preparing my PhD dissertation on the regional transition that the peace process implies for the region. I am directing my analysis to the way in which people are dealing with the ongoing war (there is no truce during the negotiation), and the strategies that political and regional organizations—some of them with revolutionary influences—are strategizing to assume new future roles to manage the region. Hence, if this symposium is about the relation between the past-present experiences of revolutionary movements when coming to power, my case-study is about an ongoing experience: how the revolutionary movement, the community organizations, and the state are planning to transform the political dynamics in regions where the insurgency has contributed to build different forms of power and legitimacy. Hence, I am focusing my analysis to this transitional moment.

panel IP08
The institutionalization of revolutionary movements: ethnographic case studies