Colombia's Changing Rural Areas: The Peace Process, China, and a New Economy

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Program Description


Historic peace accords in 2016 made life safer in many rural areas in the South American country of Colombia. But this peace dividend has brought new challenges in areas that are home to 15% of Colombians. Chinese capital has given a new lease on life to some rural Colombian entrepreneurs. However, rural Colombians are more generally searching for meaningful ways to fit into a globalized economy, and it is not always clear what they should do to make money. What can the US do to help these Colombians? What debates are rural Colombians having about the new society they want to construct? 

Dr. Brian Norris, associate professor of political science at Lincoln University, will address these concerns in this program. He is recipient of a Fulbright global award to conduct a three-year study of rural local government in Colombia and Mozambique. He did six weeks of fieldwork in Colombia in summer of 2022, and he was an international elections observer in the first round of presidential elections with the Organization of American States.