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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Replacing And Amending Constitutions: The Logic Of Constitutional Change In Latin America, Gabriel L. Negretto Dec 2012

Replacing And Amending Constitutions: The Logic Of Constitutional Change In Latin America, Gabriel L. Negretto

Gabriel L. Negretto

Since 1978, all countries in Latin America have either replaced or amended their constitutions. What explains the choice between these two substantively different means of constitutional transformation? This article argues that constitutions are replaced when they fail to work as governance structures or when their design prevents competing political interests from accommodating to changing environments. According to this perspective, constitutions are likely to be replaced when constitutional crises are frequent, when political actors lack the capacity to implement changes by means of amendments or judicial interpretation, or when the constitutional regime has a power-concentrating design. It is further argued that ...


Shifting Constitutional Designs In Latin America. A Two-Level Explanation, Gabriel L. Negretto Jan 2011

Shifting Constitutional Designs In Latin America. A Two-Level Explanation, Gabriel L. Negretto

Gabriel L. Negretto

Latin American countries have been riding a massive wave of constitutional change since 1978. One aspect of the political institutions selected as a result of this process seems particularly puzzling. Reforms that promote party pluralism and consensual decision making coexist, often within the same design, with other reforms that restrict party competition and foster concentration of power in the executive branch. This Article argues that constitutional choice is endogenous to the performance of preexisting constitutional structures and to the partisan interests and relative power of reformers. According to this theory, the seemingly contradictory trends of design that we observe in ...


Political Parties And Institutional Design: Explaining Constitutional Choice In Latin America, Gabriel L. Negretto Jan 2009

Political Parties And Institutional Design: Explaining Constitutional Choice In Latin America, Gabriel L. Negretto

Gabriel L. Negretto

The formulas for electing presidents and the rules determining the legislative powers of presidents are important variables for explaining the performance of presidential democracies. This article develops a strategic choice model to explain variations in these institutional features. Based on this model, it is proposed here that constitution makers are likely to opt for more-than-plurality rules of presidential elections when the number of parties necessary to pass constitutional changes increases. It is also proposed that the makers of constitutions are likely to strengthen the legislative powers of the president when the number of parties necessary to pass constitutional changes increases ...


“Choosing How To Choose Presidents: Parties, Military Rulers, And Presidential Elections In Latin America”, Gabriel L. Negretto Jan 2006

“Choosing How To Choose Presidents: Parties, Military Rulers, And Presidential Elections In Latin America”, Gabriel L. Negretto

Gabriel L. Negretto

Students of presidential regimes claim that while the combination of plurality rule for presidential elections and concurrent electoral cycles favors bipartism, majority rule for electing presidents favors multipartism. I argue that a reverse causality also affects the relationship between party systems and electoral systems. Using a bargaining model of institutional change, I propose that while dominant and large parties are likely to choose plurality rule and concurrent elections, small parties are likely to choose majority rule. I also argue that military rulers and mil- itary-civilian coalitions tend to follow the logic of electoral choice of small parties. These hypotheses are ...