The Unfinished Transition to Democracy in Latin America

Author: Juan Carlos Calleros-Alarcón
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135907226
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
This book examines the political evolution of the judiciary – a usually overlooked political actor – and its capacity to contribute to the process of democratic consolidation in Latin America during the 1990s. Calleros analyzes twelve countries in order to assess the independence, impartiality, political strength and efficiency of the judicial branch. The picture that emerges – with the one exception of Costa Rica – is the persistence of weak judicial systems, unable in practice to check other branches of government, including the executive and the military, while not quite effective in fully protecting human rights or in implementing due process of law guarantees. Aggravating issues, such as corruption, heavy case backlogs, overcrowding of prisons, circumvention of laws and personal vulnerability of judges, make the judiciary the least evolved of the three branches of government in the Latin American transitions to democracy.

Informal Coalitions and Policymaking in Latin America

Author: Andrés Mejía Acosta
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135849331
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
This book explains how presidents achieve market-oriented reforms in a contentious political environment. Using an impressive amount of quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence, most of which is reported for the first time, Mejía Acosta argues that presidents in Ecuador adopted significant reforms by crafting informal yet functional coalitions with opposition parties in congress. This pattern of success is particularly relevant in a country known for its chronic political fragmentation and deep regional and ethnic divisions. Paradoxically, the adoption of constitutional reforms to promote governance undermined the success of informal coalitions and directly contributed to greater regime instability after 1996. Mejía Acosta's work offers a compelling analysis of how formal and informal political institutions contribute to policy change. His far-reaching conclusions will capture the attention of political scientists and scholars of Latin America.

Fixing Democracy

Author: Javier Corrales
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190868929
Format: PDF
Download Now
The study of institutions, a core concept in comparative politics, has produced many rich and influential theories on the economic and political effects of institutions, yet it has been less successful at theorizing their origins. In Fixing Democracy, Javier Corrales develops a theory of institutional origins that concentrates on constitutions and levels of power within them. He reviews numerous Latin American constituent assemblies and constitutional amendments to explore why some democracies expand rather than restrict presidential powers and why this heightened presidentialism discourages democracy. His signal theoretical contribution is his elaboration on power asymmetries. Corrales determines that conditions of reduced power asymmetry make constituent assemblies more likely to curtail presidential powers, while weaker opposition and heightened power asymmetry is an indicator that presidential powers will expand. The bargain-based theory that he uses focuses on power distribution and provides a more accurate variable in predicting actual constitutional outcomes than other approaches based on functionalism or ideology. While the empirical focus is Latin America, Fixing Democracy contributes a broadly applicable theory to the scholarship both institutions and democracy.

Politicising the Communist Past

Author: Aleks Szczerbiak
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317580184
Format: PDF
Download Now
Poland is a particularly interesting case of truth revelation and transitional justice in a post-communist country. This is because of the radical change of trajectory in its approach to dealing with the communist past, and the profound effect this had on Polish politics. The approach moved from 'communist-forgiving' in the early 1990s, to a mild law vetting individuals for their links with the communist-era security services at the end of the decade, through to a more radical vetting and opening up of the communist security service files in the mid-2000s. This book examines the detail of this changing approach. It explains why disagreements about transitional justice became so prominent, to the extent that they constituted one of the main causes of political divisions. It sets the Polish approach in the wider context of transitional justice and truth revelation, drawing out the lessons for newly emerging democracies, both in Eastern Europe and beyond.

The Costa Rican Women s Movement

Author: Ilse Abshagen Leitinger
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
ISBN: 9780822955436
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
"Thirty-four short contributions make this akin to a reference work, albeit one varying greatly in flavor, topic, and scholarliness, i.e., from group self-promotion to politico-legal endorsements to scholarly pieces. Among the scholarly topics: colonial women, 19th-century women, feminist organizational theorizing, popular music, caesarean births, and women at the Univ. de Costa Rica (where they are one-third of faculty). Almost all social-feminist topics are touched on, save perhaps language; sexuality,violence, disability, class/race/gender, art and artists, and more"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.