Municipalities, social change and interlegal dynamics: the sociolegal controversy on bullfighting in Bogotá (Colombia)

  • Serrano Cardona, Nicolas (Researcher)

Project: Research

Project Details


Within modern Western states, territorial bodies should be part of a legal nested structure upholding national interests. However, social change processes are a common source of tension and negotiation between the national and sub-national levels. Social actors’ claims for change might involve defying a legally established multi-level order. Local authorities may decide to challenge limitations to their autonomy and respond to growing social demands. This research is interested in better understanding the participation of municipal authorities in processes of sociolegal change.
The research focuses on the controversy around bullfighting in Colombia and its capital Bogotá. Bullfighting has been at the centre of intense social and legal disputes for decades in the country: it has been legally acknowledged as an artistic expression but expanding social forces seeking animal protection have asked its regulation or prohibition. The anti-bullfighting movement and Bogotá´s municipal authorities have been deeply involved in the dispute. The municipal level has been both an arena and a player in the debate.
The research describes and analyses the interaction between social forces, municipalities and the Colombian Constitutional Court since 1970 around bullfighting. The study relies on the concept of interlegality in search of an alternative understanding of national and municipal relations. From this perspective, the municipal level emerges as a participant embedded in a far-reaching, iterative and dynamic process of normative transformation while looking for social, political and legal intelligibility of its decisions.
Effective start/end date2018/01/192022/01/19

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences

Free keywords

  • Sociology of Law
  • Law and culture
  • Interlegality
  • Scales
  • Urban governance
  • Culture change
  • Social policy, urban planning, socio-ecological transition
  • Civic culture
  • Bullfighting
  • Colombia