The Unfinished Transition To Democracy In Latin America

Author: Juan Carlos Calleros-Alarcón
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135907226
Size: 23.52 MB
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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.

Fixing Democracy

Author: Javier Corrales
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190868929
Size: 28.81 MB
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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
Size: 49.52 MB
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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.

Engendering Transitions

Author: Georgina Waylen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199248036
Size: 62.41 MB
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Using empirical material from eight case studies in East Central Europe and Latin America as well as South Africa, this book explores the gendered constraints and opportunities provided by processes of democratization.

Forgotten Continent

Author: Michael Reid
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300145268
Size: 12.59 MB
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Latin America has often been condemned to failure. Not as poor as Africa, nor as booming as India and China, it has largely been overlooked. Yet this vast continent, home to half a billion people, the world's largest reserves of arable land, and 8.5 percent of global oil, is transforming its political and economic landscape. This book argues that Latin America's efforts to build fairer and more prosperous societies make it one of the world's most vigorous laboratories for capitalist democracy. In many countries--including Brazil, Chile and Mexico--democratic leaders are laying the foundations for faster economic growth and more inclusive politics, as well as tackling deep-rooted problems. Failure will increase the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants to the United States and Europe, jeopardize stability in a region rich in strategic commodities, and threaten some of the world's most majestic natural environments.--From publisher description.

Economic Policy And The Transition To Democracy

Author: Gary McMahon
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9780333642719
Size: 52.90 MB
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In the 1980s a large number of Latin American countries reverted from military dictatorships to civilian democracies. In most cases the new democratic governments inherited an extremely precarious economic situation, which left little room to manoeuvre. This book analyzes the special problems that governments face in the formulation and implementation of economic policy after the restoration of democracy. In each of six cases - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay - an analysis is made of the difficulties encountered and the performance of the democratic governments.

The Guatemalan Military Project

Author: Jennifer Schirmer
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812200594
Size: 17.57 MB
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In 1999, the Guatemala truth commission issued its report on human rights violations during Guatemala's thirty-six-year civil war that ended in 1996. The commission, sponsored by the UN, estimates the conflict resulted in 200,000 deaths and disappearances. The commission holds the Guatemalan military responsible for 93 percent of the deaths. In The Guatemalan Military Project, Jennifer Schirmer documents the military's role in human rights violations through a series of extensive interviews striking in their brutal frankness and unique in their first-hand descriptions of the campaign against Guatemala's citizens. High-ranking officers explain in their own words their thoughts and feelings regarding violence, political opposition, national security doctrine, democracy, human rights, and law. Additional interviews with congressional deputies, Guatemalan lawyers, journalists, social scientists, and a former president give a full and balanced account of the Guatemalan power structure and ruling system. With expert analysis of these interviews in the context of cultural, legal, and human rights considerations, The Guatemalan Military Project provides a successful evaluation of the possibilities and processes of conversion from war to peace in Latin America and around the world.

The Costa Rican Women S Movement

Author: Ilse Abshagen Leitinger
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
ISBN: 9780822955436
Size: 41.50 MB
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"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.

Multiple Injustices

Author: R. Aída Hernández Castillo
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816532494
Size: 68.99 MB
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Draws together over two decades of research by the author into activism and legal pluralism as practiced and understood by Indigenous women in Latin American countries, analyzing the struggles of indigenous women in Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia to secure justice and equal rights. The ethnographic approach taken in the book analyzes activism and legal pluralism at the local, state, and international scales and synthesizes the author's experiences interacting with activists at those different levels. The manuscript draws on critical discourse and feminist theories to address the tensions and struggles indigenous women activists face in Latin America.