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The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America

Gebonden Engels 2020 9781108489331
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Analysts and policymakers often decry the failure of institutions to accomplish their stated purpose. Bringing together leading scholars of Latin American politics, this volume helps us understand why. The volume offers a conceptual and theoretical framework for studying weak institutions. It introduces different dimensions of institutional weakness and explores the origins and consequences of that weakness. Drawing on recent research on constitutional and electoral reform, executive-legislative relations, property rights, environmental and labor regulation, indigenous rights, squatters and street vendors, and anti-domestic violence laws in Latin America, the volume's chapters show us that politicians often design institutions that they cannot or do not want to enforce or comply with. Challenging existing theories of institutional design, the volume helps us understand the logic that drives the creation of weak institutions, as well as the conditions under which they may be transformed into institutions that matter.


Aantal pagina's:354
Uitgever:Cambridge University Press


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1. Theorizing weak institutions; 2. When (electoral) opportunity knocks: weak institutions, political shocks, and electoral reforms in Latin America; 3. The stickiness of 'bad' institutions: constitutional continuity and change under democracy; 4. Presidential crises in Latin America; 5. Coercion gaps; 6. Aspirational laws as weak institutions: legislation to combat violence against women in Mexico; 7. The social determinants of enforcement: integrating politics with limited state capacity; 8. A multilevel approach to enforcement: forest protection in the Argentine Chaco; 9. What/whose property rights? The selective enforcement of land rights under Mexican liberalism; 10. Imported institutions: boon or bane in the developing world? 11. Social origins of institutional strength: prior consultation over extraction of hydrocarbons in Bolivia; 12. Conclusion.

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        The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America