Authoritarian Constitutionalism
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Authoritarian Constitutionalism

Comparative Analysis and Critique

Edited by Helena Alviar García and Günter Frankenberg

The contributions to this book analyse and submit to critique authoritarian constitutionalism as an important phenomenon in its own right, not merely as a deviant of liberal constitutionalism. Accordingly, the fourteen studies cover a variety of authoritarian regimes from Hungary to Apartheid South Africa, from China to Venezuela; from Syria to Argentina, and discuss the renaissance of authoritarian agendas and movements, such as populism, Trumpism, nationalism and xenophobia. From different theoretical perspectives the authors elucidate how authoritarian power is constituted, exercised and transferred in the different configurations of popular participation, economic imperatives, and imaginary community.
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Chapter 6: Authoritarian constitutionalism in Latin America: from past to present

Roberto Gargarella


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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