Improving Intergovernmental Relations
Edited by Giorgio Brosio and Juan P. Jiménez
Chapter 1: Introduction: approaching recent transformations of intergovernmental relations from multiple profiles
In most Latin American countries, since colonial independence, the shaping of intergovernmental relations has been a crucial component of the debate on the institutional structure of government and constitutional design. In the region, political reform and federalization/decentralization intersect in the political and intellectual debate with an intensity that, possibly, is not observable in other continents. This is not widely recognized outside Latin America (LA), possibly because the offences by authoritarian rulers and regimes to the federal and decentralized arrangements have been more prominent than the peculiar characteristics and the innovations introduced to them by democratic governments. There are common characteristics of the decentralization processes worldwide that are worth analyzing from a general and not just a Latin American perspective. At the same time, Latin American countries show some specificities that trace their roots, as to be expected, to the original features of the constitutional and political institutions of the continent.