Political (In)Justice: Authoritarianism and the Rule of Law in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina

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Overview

Why do attempts by authoritarian regimes to legalize their political repression differ so dramatically? Why do some dispense with the law altogether, while others scrupulously modify constitutions, pass new laws, and organize political trials? Political (In)Justice answers these questions by comparing the legal aspects of political repression in three recent military regimes: Brazil (1964-1985); Chile (1973-1990); and Argentina (1976-1983). By focusing on political trials as a reflection of each regime's overall approach to the law, Anthony Pereira argues that the practice of each regime can be explained by examining the long-term relationship between the judiciary and the military. Brazil was marked by a high degree of judicial-military integration and cooperation; Chile's military essentially usurped judicial authority; and in Argentina, the military negated the judiciary altogether. Pereira extends the judicial-military framework to other authoritarian regimes--Salazar's Portugal, Hitler's Germany, and Franco's Spain--and a democracy (the United States), to illuminate historical and contemporary aspects of state coercion and the rule of law.
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What People Are Saying

Diane E. Davis
This is a pathbreaking study of institutional and personal relations between military and judicial elites in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, and how they laid the foundation for divergent patterns of state repression. Pereira effectively mines the institutional legacies of the past to offer a nuanced account of why some authoritarian states relied more on coercive violence than legal measures to fight their internal enemies. He also underscores the importance of turning greater disciplinary attention to the rule of law and the ways that military priorities and institutions affected the administration of the justice system in its entirety. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Leigh Payne
Pereira has researched the important topic of Brazil's legal system under authoritarian rule using the excellent, but underutilized, source material from the Nunca Mais archives. He makes the provocative argument that prior legal traditions shape the use of laws and courts under authoritarian rule. The book is written well, making it accessible and interesting to both specialists and a general reading public. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822958857
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Series: Pitt Latin American Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony W. Pereira is associate professor of political science at Tulane University. He is the author of The End of Peasantry: The Emergence of the Rural Trade Union Movement in Northeast Brazil, 1961-1988, and coeditor of Irregular Armed Forces and Their Role in Politics and State Formation.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Repression, legality, and authoritarian regimes 1
Ch. 2 National security legality in Brazil and the southern cone in comparative perspective 16
Ch. 3 The evolution of national security legality in Brazil and the southern cone 37
Ch. 4 Political trials in Brazil : the continuation of a conservative tradition 63
Ch. 5 "Wartime" legality and radical adaptation in Chile 90
Ch. 6 Angilegalism in Argentina 117
Ch. 7 Defense lawyers in Brazil's military courts : redefining free speech, subversion, terrorism, and crime 140
Ch. 8 Transitional justice and the legacies of authoritarian legality 159
Ch. 9 The sword and the robe : military-judicial relations in authoritarian and democratic regimes 173
Ch. 10 The puzzle of authoritarian legality 191
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