Transitioning Guerrillas: An Analysis of the Internal Cohesion of the Former FARC in Their Transit from War to Democracy

Juan E. Ugarriza, Rafael C. Quishpe, Diana C. Acuña, Mónica A. Salazar

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review


The emergence of ex-rebels' political parties after peace accords creates a vehicle for political reintegration, which in turn has positive effects on peace and democracy consolidation after war. However, many of these parties tend to break apart and disappear, elevating the risk of renewed cycles of political violence. In times of war, cohesion plays a pivotal role in maintaining the bonds among members of armed organizations. It empowers them to perform effectively even in the face of challenging conditions and continues to be a critical factor during postconflict transitions. By means of a quantitative analysis of former FARC guerrillas in Colombia, now part of a newly founded legal political party, we test whether ideology, organizational dynamics, or individual perceptions and motivations help to explain their levels of cohesion. Our results show that even if all dimensions add up to the observed cohesion levels, perceptions of internal democracy, and inclusion, are the most relevant. We argue that assistance to former rebels in their organizational reengineering efforts after war will help to reduce the risk of the negative effects of rebel party collapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLatin American Politics and Society
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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