Fixing Democracy: How Power Asymmetries Help Explain Presidential Powers in New Constitutions, Evidence from Latin America

ISBN : 9780190868901

Javier Corrales
288 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2018
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In a comprehensive reviews of constitutional change in Latin America, Fixing Democracy argues that the strongest predictor of whether a new constitution will expand or restrict presidential powers is power asymmetry, or more specifically, the distance between Incumbent and Opposition forces at the negotiating table.


Part I: The Argument
1. Introduction: Fixing Democracy
2. The Argument: Power Asymmetries, Constitutions, and Presidential Powers
Part II: Explaining Constituent Assemblies and Presidential Powers
3. Origins: Rise and Death of Constituent Assemblies in Latin America
4. Content: Constitutional Rewrites and Changes in Presidential Powers
Part III: Case Studies
5. Venezuela: Extreme Variations in Power Asymmetries
6. Bolivia: Natural Resources, Demographics, and Reduced Asymmetry
7. Ecuador: When the Opposition Splits
Part III: Power Asymmetry and Self-Dealing
8. Term Limits: Self-Dealing, Power Asymmetries, and Changes to Time in Office
Part IV: Conclusion
9. Conclusion

About the author: 

Javier Corrales is Dwight W. Morrow 1895 Professor of Political Science at Amherst College and obtained his PhD in Government from Harvard University in 1996. He specializes in comparative politics and international relations of Latin America. He has written extensively on economic reforms, democratization, presidential powers, term limits, education policy and international relations. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Bogota, Colombia, and Caracas, Venezuela. He is on the editorial board of Latin American Politics and Society and Americas Quarterly, and the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

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