State weakness in Colombia

In 2001-2002 I tested the state-weakness hypothesis in Colombia developing a quantitative index able to measure it. Considering the inevitable trade-offs that any such index implies, in order to avoid to present the index as a black box I chose to leave it open and fully customizable by the reader through a web interface. If you accept my assumptions on the choice of variables and relative weights, the main result would look like the graph below showing a weakening of the Colombian state since the mid 1970, a short-lived recover in the first half of the 90s, and a major debacle during the years of the peace negotiations in Caguán. But you may have different ideas about how relatively important the different public goods that a well functioning state is supposed to provide – security, justice, infrastructure, health etc – or which variable to chose within each group of public goods. You can build and plot an index according to your research hypothesis.

Check it out here (in Spanish).


En un trabajo académico de hace unos años (2002) abordé la cuestión del estado débil en Colombia desarrollando un índice cuantitativo para medirla. Pero no un indice como caja negra que oculta importante hipótesis científicas, sino abierto y transparente que el usuario puede manipular directamente a través de la interfaz web de acuerdo a sus propias hipótesis.