Democratic Latin America

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  • Copyright: 2012-02-16
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Debuting in its first edition, Democratic Latin Americafocuses on analyzing political institutions as a way to assess broader trends in the region's politics, including the rise of democracy. Drawing on new approaches in comparative politics, this text looks at the major institutionsexecutive, legislature, judiciary, military, and more-in 18 democratic countries to not only provide an expansive view of politics in Latin America but to also facilitate cross-national comparison.

Author Biography

Craig Arceneaux is a Professor of Political Science at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
An Institutional Approach to Democracy and Democratization in Latin Americap. 1
Institutions and the Study of Democratic Politicsp. 5
What Is an Institution?p. 6
What Is an Institutional Approach to Politics?p. 8
Comparing Countries: Do Authoritarians Follow Institutional Rules? Military Regimes and Institutional Designp. 12
Democracy in Latin Americap. 14
Democratic Transitionp. 17
Defining Democracyp. 19
Country in the Spotlight: The Struggle for Democracy in Guatemalap. 24
Conclusionp. 28
State and Nation in Colonial Latin Americap. 33
Pillars of Democracy: State and Nationp. 35
Land and Peoplep. 37
Human Settlements in the Pre-Colombian Periodp. 38
The Colonial Impact on Settlement and Demographyp. 41
The Colonial Periodp. 44
The Arrival, and Conquestp. 44
The Expansion of Spanish Colonialismp. 44
Comparing Countries: Conquest in Brazil Contrasted with Spanish Americap. 46
Colonial Institutionsp. 47
Religious Institutions in Colonial Latin Americap. 52
The Long Road to Independencep. 54
Country in the Spotlight: Explaining the Exceptionalism of Colonial Legacies in the United Statesp. 61
Conclusionp. 66
Constitutions: From States and Nations to Regimes, and Back Againp. 69
Constitutional Foundations: The Consolidation of Independent States and the Search for National Identity in Latin Americap. 71
The Caudillo Period (1820s-1870s)p. 71
The Export Economy (1860s-1930s)p. 72
The Opening of the U.S. Umbrella (1898)p. 74
The Great Depression (1929)p. 76
The Populist Era (1930s-l 960s)p. 77
Bureaucratic Authoritarianism and the Cold War (1960s-l980s)p. 79
From the Washington Consensus to the "Pink Tide"(1980s to present)p. 81
Constitutions: The Rules of the Game and Morep. 84
Constitutional Development in Latin Americap. 85
Constitutionalism and Democracyp. 86
Constitutions and Political Pactsp. 88
Constitutions and National Identityp. 90
The Politics of Constitutional Changep. 91
Types of Constitutional Reformp. 91
The Source of Reform: The People or Congress?p. 93
Motives for Reformp. 94
Institutional Opportunities and Barriersp. 95
Comparing Countries: What Distinguishes the Structure and Content of Constitutions in Latin America?p. 96
Explaining Constitutional Change in Latin Americap. 100
Country in the Spotlight: Constitutional Reform in Nicaraguap. 103
Conclusionp. 108
The Executive Branch: Latin American Stylep. 113
The Executive Branch in Presidential and Parliamentary Forms of Governmentp. 116
The Parliamentary Systemp. 116
The Presidential Systemp. 117
Origins of Parliamentarism and Presidentialismp. 117
Variations in Parliamentary and Presidential Systemsp. 120
Latin American Presidenciesp. 121
Constitutional Powersp. 122
Partisan Powersp. 127
Comparing Countries: An Assessment of Presidentialismp. 128
The Administrative Arm of the Executive: Bureaucracyp. 131
Efficiency and Bureaucracyp. 131
The Pathologies of Bureaucracyp. 131
The Size of Bureaucracyp. 132
Corruption and Bureaucracyp. 134
Bureaucratic Boundariesp. 136
Country in the Spotlight: Presidential Politics in Argentinap. 137
Conclusionp. 143
The Legislative Branch: The Centerpiece of Democracy Under Firep. 149
Parliament and Congressp. 151
The Functions of Congressp. 152
Representationp. 153
Past Roadblocks to Representationp. 153
More Recent Changes in Representationp. 154
Lawmakingp. 156
Initiationp. 157
Debatep. 157
Oversightp. 160
Direct Oversightp. 160
Indirect Oversightp. 165
Educationp. 165
Comparing Countries: Legislative Strengthp. 166
Legislative Structurep. 169
Sizep. 169
Sessionsp. 169
Terms and Alternatesp. 172
Bicameralismp. 173
Country in the Spotlight: The National Congress of Chile: A Barometer of Chilean Democracyp. 176
Conclusionp. 180
The Judiciary in Latin America: Separate but Unequalp. 186
Approaches to Judicial Organizationp. 188
Common Law and Code Law Traditionsp. 188
Mixed Judicial Systems in Latin Americap. 190
The Rule of Lawp. 193
Defining the Rule of Lawp. 193
The Judiciary∆s Contribution to the Rule of Lawp. 195
The Judiciary and Other Government Institutions: Power and Independencep. 195
The Judiciary and the People: Access and Efficiencyp. 202
Comparing Countries: Courts Versus Politicians in Guatemala and Colombiap. 206
The Judicialization of Politics in Contemporary Latin Americap. 208
Motives and Opportunities to Judicialize Politicsp. 209
International Actors and the Judicialization of Politicsp. 209
The Judicialization of Politics at the Local Levelp. 212
Country in the Spotlight: The Judicial Branch in Mexico: Seeking Reformp. 213
Conclusionp. 218
Electoral Systems: The Core of Democratic Politicsp. 223
Votingp. 225
The Electoral Systemp. 227
Electoral Formulap. 227
Majoritarian Systemsp. 227
Proportional Representationp. 227
Hybrid Systemsp. 231
District Magnitudep. 232
Electoral Thresholdsp. 233
Ballot Structurep. 233
Districting and Apportionmentp. 243
Institutional Distinction: An Ordinal Ballot in a Majoritarian Election: Chile's Binomial Systemp. 244
The Electoral System and Political Changep. 245
Presidential Elections in Latin Americap. 246
Comparing Countries: Direct Democracy in Latin Americap. 251
The Management and Observation of Electionsp. 253
Country in the Spotlight: The Electoral System in Boliviap. 256
Conclusionp. 262
From Civil Society to Political Parties: Putting Democracy into Practicep. 267
Civil Society and Democracyp. 269
Parties as Political Institutionsp. 270
Parties as Regime Institutionsp. 271
Comparing Countries: The Rules for Party Funding in Latin Americap. 272
Parties as Social Institutionsp. 278
How Parties and Civil Society Must Work Together in Democratic Latin Americap. 282
From the Party to the Party Systemp. 284
Party System Fragmentationp. 284
Party System Institutionalizationp. 288
Party System Polarizationp. 290
The Interaction of Fragmentation, Institutionalization, and Polarizationp. 291
Country in the Spotlight: Venezuela: Changes in Parties, Changes in Politicsp. 292
Conclusionp. 299
Federalism and Unitarism: Learning to Sharep. 304
Federalism and Unitarism, and the Range of Centralizationp. 306
The Division of Power in a Federal Systemp. 306
The Balance of Centralization and Decentralizationp. 307
Comparing Countries: Centralization in Federal Venezuela and Decentralization in Unitary Perup. 308
The Origins of Governmental Relations in Latin Americap. 311
Federalism and the Protection of Regional Caudillosp. 312
Contemporary Moves to Recognize Indigenous Territoriesp. 313
Federal and Unitary Design in Contemporary Latin Americap. 314
Institutions That Complement Federalism: Bicameralism, Strong Judiciary, Rigid Constitutionsp. 314
The Contemporary Effort to Decentralizep. 315
Variations in Federal Institutionsp. 318
Dealing with Differencesp. 318
Offsetting Regional Power Differencesp. 320
Country in the Spotlight: Federalism In Brazilp. 322
Conclusionp. 326
The Armed Forces: Bridging the Civil-Military Dividep. 330
The Armed Forces in Contemporary Latin America: Global Comparisonsp. 332
Military Expendituresp. 332
Military Spending and Developmentp. 333
Regional Distinctionsp. 335
The Military Perspective of Latin American Historyp. 336
Comparing Countries: Justice and the "Dirty Wars" in Argentina and Brazilp. 339
Civil-Military Relationsp. 342
Civil-Military Relations Under Democracyp. 345
Civilian Supremacy or Political Management?p. 345
New Security Norms Under Democracyp. 346
Institutional Checks and Balances Under Democracyp. 348
The Legislaturep. 349
The Courtsp. 350
The Executivep. 351
Civil-Military Relations and New Challengesp. 353
Country in the Spotlight: The Armed Forces of El Salvadorp. 354
Conclusionp. 361
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