1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Law and Society in Latin America

    494 Pages
    by Routledge

    494 Pages
    by Routledge

    An understanding of law and its efficacy in Latin America demands concepts distinct from the hegemonic notions of "rule of law" which have dominated debates on law, politics and society, and that recognize the diversity of situations and contexts characterizing the region.

    The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society in Latin America presents cutting-edge analysis of the central theoretical and applied areas of enquiry in socio-legal studies in the region by leading figures in the study of law and society from Latin America, North America and Europe. Contributors argue that scholarship about Latin America has made vital contributions to longstanding and emerging theoretical and methodological debates on the relationship between law and society.

    Key topics examined include:

    • The gap between law-on-the-books and law in action

    • The implications of legal pluralism and legal globalization

    • The legacies of experiences of transitional justice

    • Emerging forms of socio-legal and political mobilization

    • Debates concerning the relationship between the legal and the illegal.

    The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society in Latin America sets out new research agendas for cross-disciplinary socio-legal studies and will be of interest to those studying law, sociology of law, comparative Latin American politics, legal anthropology and development studies.

    1. Law and Society in Latin America: An IntroductionRachel Sieder, Karina Ansolabehere and Tatiana Alfonso

    Part 1. Law, Politics and Society

    2. Latin America’s Contribution to Constitutionalism

    Roberto Gargarella

    3.State and Law in Latin America: A Critical Assessment

    Lisa Hilbink and Janice Gallagher

    4. Legal Pluralism and Fragmented Sovereignties: Legality and Illegality in Latin America

    Rachel Sieder

    5. Disobeying the Law: Latin America’s Culture of Noncompliance with Rules

    Mauricio García Villegas

    6. Law and Violence in Latin America

    Julieta Lemaitre

    7. Ethnography, Bureaucracy and Legal Knowledge in Latin American State Institutions: Law’s Material and Technical Dimensions

    Leticia Barrera and Sergio Latorre

    8. Latin American feminist legal theory: taking multiple subordinations seriously

    Isabel C. Jaramillo Sierra

    9. Law and Race in Latin America

    Tanya Katerí Hernández

    10. An Agenda for Latin American "Law and Development"

    Pedro Fortes

    11. Marxist Perspectives on Law and Inequality in Latin America

    Carlos Rivera-Lugo

    Part 2: New Constitutional Models and Institutional Design

    12. Judicial Politics in Latin America

    Juan F. González-Bertomeu

    13. Supreme and Constitutional Courts: Directions in Constitutional Justice

    Francisca Pou Jimenez

    14. Public Prosecutors Offices in Latin America

    Veronica Michel-Luviano

    15. Human Rights Ombudsmen in Latin America

    Fredrik Uggla

    16. Prisoner Capture: Welfare, Lawfare and Warfare in Latin America’s Overcrowded Prisons

    Fiona Macaulay

    17. Challenges of Police Reform in Latin America

    Lucia Dammert

    18. Legal Professionals in Latin America at the dawn of the 21st Century

    Manuel Gómez

    19. Legal Institutions as Arenas for Promoting Human Rights

    Karina Ansolabehere

    20. Deglobalization and Regional Human Rights

    Alexandra Huneeus

    Part 3: Law and Social Movements

    21. The Judicialization of Politics in Latin America

    Bruce Wilson and Camila Gianella

    22. Society, the State, and Recognition of the Right to a Self-Perceived Gender Identity

    Laura Saldivia Menajovsky

    23. Law, Gender and Social movements in Latin America: Moral Negotiations and Uneven Victories in Feminist Legal Mobilization

    Marta Machado de Assis, Ana Luiza Villela de Viana Bandeira and Fernanda Matsuda

    24. Transitional Justice and the Politics of Prosecuting Gross Human Rights Violations in Latin America

    Elena Martinez Barahona and Martha Liliana Gutiérrez

    Part 4: Emergent Topics

    25. Urban Regulation and the Latin American City

    Rodrigo Meneses Reyes

    26. Landscapes of Property: Socio-Legal Perspectives from Latin America

    Tatiana Alfonso

    27. New Influences on Legality and Justice in Latin America: Corruption and Organized Crime

    Linn Hammergren

    28. The ‘New Militarism" and the Rule of Law in Latin American Democracies

    Julio Ríos-Figueroa

    29. Drugs and the Law in Latin America: The Legal, Institutional and Social Costs of Drug Policy

    Alejandro Madrazo and Catalina Pérez Correa


    Rachel Sieder is senior research professor at the Center for Research and Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City. She is also associate senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway. Her research interests include human rights, indigenous rights, social movements, indigenous law, legal anthropology, the state and violence. Her books include: ed. Demanding Justice and Security: Indigenous Women and Legal Pluralities in Latin America. (2017); ed. with John-Andrew McNeish, Gender Justice and Legal Pluralities: Latin American and African Perspectives, Routledge-Cavendish (2012); ed. with Javier Couso and Alexandra Huneeus, Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America, (2010). She has an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of London.

    Karina Ansolabehere is a full-time researcher at the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and part time researcher at FLACSO-Mexico. She is a sociologist from the University of Buenos Aires, has a Masters in Economic Sociology from the University of General San Martin, and a Ph.D. in Research in Social Sciences with specialization in Political Sciences from FLACSO-Mexico. Her topics of interest are judicial politics, human rights, judicialization of human rights, legal cultures and political theory, with special focus on Latin America. She has taught courses on sociology of law, judicial politics, human rights and political theory. She is a member of the National Researchers System of Mexico. Ansalobehere has a degree in sociology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Ph.D. in Social Sciences with specialization in Political Sciences from FLACSO-Mexico.

    Tatiana Alfonso is an assistant professor at Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) Law School in Mexico City since 2017. Her research interests include human rights, sociology of law, sociology of race and ethnicity, sociology of development and methodologies for legal research. In her work, she explores the relation between law and social inequalities with a focus on how legal and political institutions may have distributive effects between unequal actors in society. In pursuing those interests, she has carried out research on racial discrimination and human rights, social movements and legal change, and property rights of indigenous peoples and Afrodescendant communities in Latin America. She is a psychologist and a lawyer from Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and holds a Masters and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    "Sieder, Ansolabehere and Alfonso Sierra have assembled a stellar cast of experts on the interaction between law, politics and society in Latin America. I am not aware of any other handbook that is as inter-disciplinary as this one, or that covers such a broad range of issues as insightfully and effectively. The volume not only canvasses the literature on old and established topics, providing readers with an excellent overview of the evolution of socio-legal scholarship against the backdrop of political, social and legal change in Latin America, but also includes a wonderful fourth section with essays that identify incipient bodies of research on new and exciting topics. Graduate students and academics will find in this volume a rich source of information about the state of the discipline, and most importantly, a source of inspiration for future projects."Ezequiel Gonzalez-Ocantos, University of Oxford. Author of Shifting Legal Visions: Judicial Change and Human Rights Trials in Latin America

    "This volume constitutes a landmark contribution to the scholarship on law and society in Latin America, and more broadly. It distinctively captures a breadth of analytical, disciplinary and thematic perspectives on the role of law and norm development in political, social and economic life in the region that is unique and highly valuable. In doing so it engages with the wider complexities of how formal and informal rules, norms and law are contested, negotiated and how legal institutions are invoked in pursuit of different objectives of justice and legal change. It constitutes a major contribution to the scholarship of law, politics and society in Latin America and elsewhere."Pilar Domingo, Overseas Development Institute

    "The Routledge Handbook is imagined as a classroom text: a set of materials suitable for social science and interdisciplinary courses that could also, with some curation, be used in law school classes." - Deepa Das Acevedo, University of Alabama