Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Bernd Reiter, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rachel May, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tonya Perry, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Peter Funke, Ph.D.


Agency, Governance, Latin American, Direct Democracy, Social Movements, Women


Medellín, Colombia, once one of the most corrupt and violent cities in the world, is now one of the most progressive and democratic cities in South America. This transformation was due to the mobilization of women’s movements and the influx of women in the city’s executive branch. Female political agency and new urban development programs reshaped democratic practices for the citizenry. This research examines the robust association between women’s organizations, women from Compromiso Ciudanano (CC), and a solid and active civil society. The theoretical framework covers democratization, good governance, and Latin American/Indigenous Feminism. The sources include interviews, polls, news articles, and government/NGO records. This work promotes female political agency, inclusionary policies and democratic institutions.