Comparative Constitutional Law in Latin America
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Comparative Constitutional Law in Latin America

Edited by Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg

This book provides unique insights into the practice of democratic constitutionalism in one of the world’s most legally and politically significant regions. It combines contributions from leading Latin American and global scholars to provide ‘bottom up’ and ‘top down’ insights about the lessons to be drawn from the distinctive constitutional experiences of countries in Latin America. In doing so, it also draws on a rich array of legal and interdisciplinary perspectives. Ultimately, it shows both the promise of democratic constitutions as a vehicle for social, economic and political change, and the variation in the actual constitutional experiences of different countries on the ground – or the limits to constitutions as a locus for broader social change.
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Chapter 6: The new “Bolivarian” Constitutions: a textual analysis

Mark Tushnet

Abstract

Analysis of the texts of recently adopted constitutions in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador shows that they are committed to plurinationalism, a deep pluralism distinct from multinationalism, and to a substantial role for indigenous peoples in governance and in the national identity. They contain some innovative methods of public participation in governance, but, perhaps surprisingly, do not grant presidents substantially greater powers than are conventional elsewhere. These provisions can be understood as the outcome of processes of constitutional learning, both about structure and rights, the latter especially with respect to so-called third-generation rights. Keywords: plurinationalism, indigenous peoples, executive power, third-generation rights, Bolivarian Constitutions, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia

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