Latin America has a long tradition of constitutional reform. Since the democratic transitions of the 1980s, most countries have amended their constitutions at least once, and some have even undergone constitutional reform several times. The global phenomenon of a new constitutionalism, with enhanced rights provisions, finds expression in the region, but the new constitutions, such as those of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, also have some peculiar characteristics which are discussed in this important book. Authors from a number of different disciplines offer a general overview of constitutional reforms in Latin America since 1990. They explore the historical, philosophical and doctrinal differences between traditional and new constitutionalism in Latin America and examine sources of inspiration. The book also covers sociopolitical settings, which factors and actors are relevant for the reform process, and analyzes the constitutional practices after reform, including the question of whether the recent constitutional reforms created new post-liberal democracies with an enhanced human and social rights record, or whether they primarily serve the ambitions of new political leaders.
Detlef Nolte is Vice-President of the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies and Director of the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies. Dr. Almut Schilling-Vacaflor is a Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies, Germany.
'The presence of constitutionalism throughout Latin America since the Independence has affected politics in very different ways. Likewise, presidentialism has been a key feature of the region, albeit with significant variations. This book extensively explores how both aspects shape current politics, describes the so-called "new constitutionalism" in detail, and offers new and important questions for future research.' Manuel AlcÃ¡ntara, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain 'This volume is the most important contribution on Latin American constitutionalism to date. Using an extraordinary diversity of entry points - from historical analysis to legal philosophy, from diffusion approaches to rational choice institutionalism - the authors successfully illuminate the causes and consequences of constitutional choice. Highly recommended for all scholars and students of Latin American politics.' Timothy J. Power, University of Oxford, UK