Democracy through drugs: the role of coca in Bolivia's democratic consolidation

Shane Hoffman

Document Type Dissertation/Thesis


To demonstrate the role of coca in the Bolivian democracy that has emerged, this investigation will examine how the coca economy paradoxically supports, and in some cases, undermines the five key democratic arenas presented by Linz and Stephan in their work Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation. These five arenas are: civil society, political society, rule of law, the state apparatus, and economic society. An illustration of these respective arenas, that Linz and Stephan feeI are indicative of a modern consolidated democracy, will illustrate how the coca economy has promoted development (and thus overall democratic consolidation) in each arena. With that point established, this project will make a further study of how the coca economy simultaneously threatens to undermine the progress it has made in these areas as progress is made toward the international goal of bringing the drug trade to an end in Bolivia.