Colombia: Measuring Political Institutions and Governance

And my Colombia research continues! This time I explored the level of freedom in Colombia, along with how stable the infrastructure and government is. Keep reading to learn more.

To begin, I measured the different areas of governance within the state, and within two neighboring developing countries – Brazil and Venezuela. There were six different indicators that I applied to explore the governance in my country in comparison to other ones. The first is Voice and Accountability, which deals with free speech and citizens being able to select their government. The second is Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism, which measures the possibility of violence in correlation to political instability. Third is Government Effectiveness, which explores the infrastructure the country and determines how well policies are being followed. Fourth is Regulatory Quality, which also deals with policies, but to make sure that the policies being enacted are safe and beneficial for the citizens and the state. Fifth is Rule of Law, which measures how well the laws of the country are being abided by and that those in positions
with power aren’t abusing it. Lastly, is Control of Corruption, which shows whether the country is being controlled by an elitist group, and whether that group is using the state to its benefit or not. All of these indicators and their meanings were retrieved from The World Bank website.

 

If you look at Table I, you can see the comparisons in governance between Colombia,
Brazil, and Venezuela. According to my research, Brazil had the best governance, with
Colombia close behind and Venezuela in last with a much worse governance score. Colombia has positive scores in the areas of Voice and Accountability, Government Effectiveness, and Regulatory Quality. However, it had negative scores of Political Stability, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. This helps to understand that while Colombia might have good policies and allows citizens to have a voice, it also allows political instability and an abuse of power by the government, which in turn decreases their freedom.

 

That leads to Graph I, where I plotted the Freedom House Score for Colombia over an
18-year period. Starting in 1998, Colombia had a freedom score of 3 ½ which suggests that it isn’t completely free, but it still has more freedoms than other developing countries. Over time it dipped to 4, but then rose to 3 for three years. However, from 2009 to 2016 it has stalled at 3 ½ again. This suggests that citizen’s freedoms have both slightly dropped and risen over time. According to the Freedom House website, Colombia has a score of 3 in 2016 due to the previous year’s dealings with peace talks about guerilla warfare and government violence over the past five decades. This impacted the election process and measure of accountability, although in a positive manner.

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 4.21.01 PM

 

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