This chapter examines the influence of authoritarian constitutionalism in Latin America. Mainly focused on the ‘founding period’ of regional constitutionalism (1850–80), the chapter claims that, in spite of the fact that authoritarian constitutionalism today lacks most of the influence that it used to have, it continues to represent a powerful force within regional constitutionalism. The author suggests that the vast majority of Latin American Constitutions continue to organize their ‘structure of powers’ according to an imperfect and unstable liberal-conservative model, and that this flawed structure allows a recurrent reemergence and occasional reinvigoration of authoritarian impulses within regional constitutionalism.
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