Volume 20, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article analyses the diachronic symbolic struggle (1810–1991) waged in Colombia’s foundational documents over the legitimation and delegitimation of social relations through the concepts “people” and “nation.” Following the introduction, the method and theory are explained: concept analysis and language-based social ontology. The analysis of the foundational documents follows. These are analysed as extended status function declarations that attempt to legitimate and delegitimate the concepts “people” and “nation”, in order to authorize/deauthorize possible social relations. On the basis of the analysis, the conclusion briefly specifies the discourse of nationism as the ontologisation and wielding of the idea of the nation against internal dissent/opposition, and points up the fundamental importance of symbolic practice in the struggle to change social reality.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Abulof, Uriel
    2015 “Normative concepts analysis: unpacking the language of legitimation.” International Journal of Social Research Methodologies18 (1); 73–89. 10.1080/13645579.2013.861656
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2013.861656 [Google Scholar]
  2. Arendt, Hannah
    1963On Revolution. New York: Viking Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Batistová, Anna and Nico Carpentier
    2018 “Constructing the Czech nation.” Journal of Language and Politics. (Published online: 6 August 2018), 1–31. doi:  10.1075/jlp.17063.bat
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.17063.bat [Google Scholar]
  4. Bernstein, Basil
    1990Class, Codes and Control, Vol. IV: The Structuring of Pedagogic Discourse. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bourdieu, Pierre
    1989 “Social Space and Symbolic Power.” Sociological Theory7 (1): 14–25. 10.2307/202060
    https://doi.org/10.2307/202060 [Google Scholar]
  6. Browitt, Jeff
    2001 “Capital Punishment: the Fragmentation of Colombia and the Crisis of the Nation-State.” Third World Quarterly22 (6): 1063–1078. 10.1080/01436590120099795
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01436590120099795 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bushnell, David
    1993The Making of Modern Colombia: A Nation in Spite of Itself. Berkeley and London: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Butler, Judith
    1993Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Casey, Nicholas
    . “Peacetime Spells Death for Colombia’s Activists.” New York TimesOct.13 2018https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/13/world/americas/colombia-farc-government-war.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fnicholas-casey
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Derrida, Jacques
    1986 “Declarations of Independence.” New Political Science7 (2): 7–15. 10.1080/07393148608429608
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07393148608429608 [Google Scholar]
  11. DeShazo, Peter, Primiani, Tanya, and McLean, Phillip
    2007Back from the Brink: Evaluating Progess in Colombia, 1999–2007. Washington D. C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Durkheim, Emile
    1995 [1912]The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Trans.Karen E. Fields. New York: Free Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Evans, Richard
    2009 “The Logical Form of Status-Function Declarations.” Etica & Politica / Ethics & PoliticsXI (1): 203–259.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Geertz, Clifford
    1973 “Ideology as Cultural System.” InThe Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Honnig, Bonnie
    1991 “Declarations of Independence: Arendt and Derrida on the Problem of Founding a Republic.” American Political Science Review86 (1): 97–113. 10.2307/1962880
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1962880 [Google Scholar]
  16. Jameson, Fredric
    2004 “The Politics of Utopia.” New Left Review25: 35–54.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Kaplan, Marcos
    1983Formación del Estado nacional en América Latina. Buenos Aires: Amorrortu Editores.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Kraul, Chris
    . “A Dynamic Bogotá Attracts Foreign Buyers and Businesses.” New York Times. March19 2015www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/greathomesanddestinations/a-dynamic-bogota-attracts-foreign-buyers-and-businesses.html
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Krzyżanowski, Michał
    2016 “Recontextualisation of neoliberalism and the increasingly conceptual nature of discourse: Challenges for critical discourse studies.” Discourse & Society27(3): 308–321. 10.1177/0957926516630901
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926516630901 [Google Scholar]
  20. Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe
    1985Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London; New York: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Lev-Tov, Deborah
    . “Celebrate the Culture of Cali, Colombia.”. New York, July10 2015nymag.com/travel/weekend-escapes/cali/
  22. Lobo, Gregory
    2009Colombia: algo diferente de una nación. Bogotá: Ediciones Uniandes.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. 2016 “Memoria, olvido y nación en Colombia: Reflexiones sobre la Ley de Víctimas.” In: Contreras Saiz, Mónika and Louis, Tatjana and Rinke, Stefan (eds.) Memoria y conflicto; memorias en conflicto. Heinz, Stuttgart, Germany, pp.35–51.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Matiz Cortés, Stefanie
    . “La seguridad democrática fue la segunda independencia.” El Espectador, Feb.26 2010, 2.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. McLean, Phillip
    2002 “Colomba: Failed, Failing or Just Weak?” The Washington Quarterly25 (3): 123–134. 10.1162/01636600260046280
    https://doi.org/10.1162/01636600260046280 [Google Scholar]
  26. Molano Jimeno, Alfredo
    . “La Guerra reciclada del Bajo Cauca.” Elespectador.com, 2Mar. 2019https://colombia2020.elespectador.com/territorio/la-guerra-reciclada-del-bajo-cauca
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Neuman, William
    . “Brutal Past and Promising Future Clash in Colombian City”, New York Times13July 2015, A4.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Palacios, Marcos
    1995Entre la legitimidad y la violencia: Colombia 1875–1994. Bogotá: Norma.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Procuraduría General de la Nación
    Procuraduría General de la Nación 2018Violencia sistemática contra defensores de derechos territoriales en Colombia. Bogotá: Instituto de Estudios del Ministerio Público.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Richani, Nazih
    2007 “Caudillos and the Crisis of the Colombian State: fragmented sovereignty, the war system and the privatisation of counterinsurgency in Colombia.” Third World Quarterly28 (2): 403–417. 10.1080/01436590601153937
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01436590601153937 [Google Scholar]
  31. Rotberg, Robert I.
    2003When States Fail: Causes and Consequences. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Semana
    Semana. “Duque objeta la norma central de la JEP y estos son los 8 escenarios a los que se enfrenta.” Accessed13 March 2019. https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/duque-objeta-la-ley-de-la-jep-8-efectos-que-podrian-ser-contraproducentes/604938
  33. Searle, John R.
    1995The Construction of Social Reality. New York: Free Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 2010Making the Social World: The Structure of Human Civilization. New York: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195396171.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195396171.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  35. Siéyès, Emmanuel J.
    1964What is the Third Estate?New York: Praeger.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Smith, Anthony D.
    2001Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Smith, Barry
    2003 “John Searle: From Speech Acts to Social Reality.” InJohn Searle, edited byBarry Smith, 1–33. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511613999.001
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511613999.001 [Google Scholar]
  38. Spencer, David E., Carlos O. Ospina, David R. Moreno, Alejandro Arbelaez, Juan C. Gomez, Carlos Berrios, and Jorge L. Varga
    2012Colombia’s Road to Recovery: Security and Governance 1982–2010. Washington D. C.: Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Tomasello, Michael, and Hannes Rakoczy
    2003 “What Makes Human Cognition Unique? From Individual to Shared to Collective Intentionality.” Mind & Language18(2): 121–147. 10.1111/1468‑0017.00217
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00217 [Google Scholar]
  40. Valencia-Villa, Hernando
    1987Cartas de batalla: una crítica del constitucionalismo colombiano. Bogotá: Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error