Major Leadership Features of the Peace Process in Colombia

  • Adriana Calderon African Leadership Centre, King’s College London


This article examines the main leadership components of peace negotiations between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Havana, Cuba. It identifies the leadership factors associated with the success of the four-year peace process that started in 2012; while comparing it to previous peace dialogues in Colombia to draw out the political learning process. The hypothesis is that three components, namely political learning in its complexity, the inclusion of women, and the inclusion of victims, have been crucial for the success of the peace process. Firstly, the concept of political learning is understood as materialising as a political leadership function. Second, in an idiosyncratic and to some extent patriarchal culture like Colombia’s, it is essential to examine the role of women in the peacebuilding process as engaging negotiators and mediators, rather than as only being passively exposed to politics. Third, the inclusion of victims in peace negotiations was an uncommon decision, and it appears to have eased the Accords. This article also contends that leadership as process, and in particular leadership styles, are fundamental to understanding the complexity that led to ending the world’s longest-running civil war.

Author Biography

Adriana Calderon, African Leadership Centre, King’s College London
Adriana, a native Colombian, is currently doing her MSc in Leadership and Development at King’s College London‘s African Leadership Centre. She obtained her BA in International Affairs and International Development and Political Science at the George Washington University in Washington DC. She worked in an NGO in DC empowering young leaders around the world through moral and innovative leadership programs focused on vision service and entrepreneurship, for sustainable peace. Most recently, she was a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and plans to continue her dream of contributing to the world’s development specially in Latin America.
How to Cite
Calderon, A. (2018). Major Leadership Features of the Peace Process in Colombia. Leadership & Developing Societies, 2(1), 57-87. Retrieved from