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The Republic Betrayed

Thursday Lecture Series, Failure

dateMarch 2, 2023 timeThursday, 12:15pm–2:00pm EST location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University locationVirtual Event
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Woman in crowd of demonstrators holding a bullet casing

In recent years a wave of protests has swept Latin America. Peru and Ecuador, Chile and Brazil, Guatemala and Colombia, Mexico and Bolivia have all seen massive protests. At the same time, regional surveys show that trust in institutions and democracy has diminished; the number of Latin Americans who believe the system is rigged against them has grown to unprecedented levels as has their tolerance for eventual coups. What explains these different expressions of regional malaise? This talk uses the concept of "republic" as the theoretical tool to assess this situation. Republic and republicanism can integrate the different dimensions (institutional, social, economic) that keep Latin America on a path that leads away from inclusive development and, therefore, towards one that produces dissatisfaction.


Alberto Vergara is a political scientist teaching at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru. He holds a Ph.D from Université de Montréal and has lectured on Latin American politics at Harvard and Sciencespo in France. Among his recent books are Politics after violence: Legacies of the Shining Path conflict in Peru (coedited with Hillel Soifer) and La condena de la Libertad: De Túpac Amaru II al bicentenario peruano en sesis ensayos y un colofón (coedited with Paulo Drinot). His new book La república defraudada: Asomarse al malestar contemporáneo en América Latina e imaginar caminos para revertirlo will be out in April 2023.

This event will be in person at the Heyman Center and live-streamed online. Please register for both in-person and virtual attendance via the link.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

Image credit: Miguel Gutierrez Chero