The rise of the constitutional regulatory state in Colombia: The case of water governance


Rene Urueña, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1E No. 18A-10, Oficina RGC 336, Bogotá 0001, Colombia. Email:


This article interprets the regulatory state in Colombia as the result of a dialectic process between transnational knowledge and domestic politics, which influence, transform, and inspire each other. Such a process results in an interesting constitutional variant of the regulatory state, in which neo-constitutionalism becomes a counterbalance to the unchecked expansion of neo-liberal regulatory practices. I, therefore, distinguish between neoliberal and constitutional regulatory states. As a result of neo-constitutionalism, the domestic judiciary is empowered, and becomes a crucial actor to understand both the specific traits of this regulatory experience, and its interaction with global centers of power.