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Agency Loss and the Strategic Redesign of the Presidential Office in Colombia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 May 2018

Luis Bernardo Mejía-Guinand*
Associate professor of political science at the Universidad de los Andes.
Felipe Botero*
Associate professor of political science at the Universidad de los Andes.
Angélica Solano*
Master’s degree candidate in economics at the Universidad de los Andes.


Presidents rely on their trusted advisers to collect, analyze, coordinate, and present information in a timely fashion. However, Latin American presidents often fail to form majority governments and must use cabinet appointments to secure legislative coalitions to pursue their policies. This article suggests that presidents strategically redesign their executive offices to address the ministry drift. Presidents who can transform the organizations attached to their executive office have additional tools to monitor their ministers’ flexibility. The article argues that the greater the number of ministers in the cabinet from parties different from the president’s, the greater the transformations to the presidential office. Using time-series analysis, hypotheses are tested with an original dataset of organizational changes to the presidential center in Colombia, 1967–2015. The findings indicate that the percentage of ministers from other parties is a good predictor of the transformations undertaken in the executive office of the president.

Research Article
© 2018 University of Miami 

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