The terror that underpins the ‘peace’: The political economy of Colombia’s paramilitary demobilisation process

Maher, DJ ORCID: and Thomson, A 2011, 'The terror that underpins the ‘peace’: The political economy of Colombia’s paramilitary demobilisation process' , Critical Studies on Terrorism, 4 (1) , pp. 95-113.

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Studies on terrorism have traditionally focused on non-state actors who direct violence against liberal states. Such studies have also tended to focus on political motivations and, therefore, have neglected the economic functions of terrorism. This article challenges the divorce of the political and economic spheres by highlighting how states can use terrorism to realise interconnected political and economic goals. To demonstrate this, we take the case of the paramilitary demobilisation process in Colombia and show how it relates to the US-Colombian free trade agreement (FTA). We argue that the demobilisation process fulfils a dual role. Firstly, the process aims to improve the image of the Colombian government required to pass the controversial FTA through US Congress in order to protect large amounts of US investment in the country. Secondly, the demobilisation process serves to mask clear continuities in paramilitary terror which serve mutually supportive political and economic functions for US investment in Colombia.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
Journal or Publication Title: Critical Studies on Terrorism
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1753-9153
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr DJ Maher
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2014 15:32
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 15:36

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