Trajectories of Hegemony and Domination in Colombia: A Comparative Analysis of the Coffee, Banana and Coca Regions from the Rise of Developmentalism to the Era of Neoliberalism

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This study is a comparative analysis of class relations in three sub-national regions in Colombia (the coffee-producing area of Viejo Caldas, the banana-producing area of Urabá, and the coca-farming and cattle-ranching area of Caquetá). The dissertation uses comparative-historical methods including archival data collected from governmental and non-governmental sources, secondary sources, and primary sources (interviews with key informants) to address two key questions. First, why do we find starkly different elite-subaltern relations in these regions at the same period in history (that is, in the post-war developmental era)? The coffee region was characterized by a consensual form of rule, the banana region was characterized by a coercive form of rule, and the cattle/coca region was characterized by a situation in which local cattle elites had lost their control over the region to guerrillas who established a war economy based upon coca production. The second question is why these relatively stable forms of class relations in each region collapsed in the 1980s and 1990s.