Courts and Power in Latin America and Africa

Courts and Power in Latin America and Africa


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Courts and Power in Latin America and Africa by B. Wilson, S. Gloppen, R. Gargarella, M. Kinander

Why do courts hold political power-holders accountable in some countries, but not in others? Why do some courts remain very timid while others-under seemingly similar circumstances-become very assertive? These are questions of central theoretical and practical importance in a context of increasing juridification of politics in many parts of the world, combined with persistent problems of holding elected leaders to account. This book contributes to the ongoing debate over the institutionalization of democratic accountability and examines the accountability functions exercised by higher courts in Latin America and Africa.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780230621008
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 04/14/2010
Edition description: 2010
Pages: 231
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Siri Gloppen (PhD, University of Bergen) heads the “Courts in Transition” program at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen and is Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen and a former Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School. Her research focuses on the role of African judiciaries in democratization processes and social transformation, South African constitution-making and constitutionalism, election processes, human rights and reconciliation. Publications include South Africa: The Battle over the Constitution and Democratization and the Judiciary (co-edited).

Bruce M. Wilson (PhD. Washington University, St. Louis) is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Central Florida and Researcher Professor II at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway. For six years he was the editor of the international journal, The Latin Americanist. His research on Latin America politics has been published in numerous journals including Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, and Electoral Studies. His book Costa Rica: Politics, Economics and Democracy, was published by Lynne Rienner. His secondary area of research on the Scholarship on Teaching and Learning has been published in leading journals such as PS: Political Science & Politics and the Journal of Political Science Education.

Roberto Gargarella (Doctor of Law, University of Buenos Aires, 1991; Ll.M., Univ. of Chicago, 1992; J.D. University of Chicago, 1993) is a researcher at Argentina's National Research Council (CONICET), Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway, and Professor of Constitutional Theory at the Universities of Torcuato Di Tella and UBA in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has conducted post-doctoral studies at Balliol College, Oxford, and was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship. He was a visiting professor at the Universities of Oslo and Bergen, Norway; Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona; and at Columbia and New School in New York. He has published extensively on issues of legal and political philosophy, as well as on U.S. and Latin American constitutionalism.

Elin Skaar (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles) is Research Director at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway. Her main areas of research include human rights, transitional justice, and judicial reform. Geographically, her work focuses on Latin America and Southern Africa. Among her recent publications is Roads to Reconciliation (co-edited).

Morten Kinander (PhD, University of Bergen) is former Associate Professor of Law at the University of Bergen and currently works as a lawyer in the law firm Wiersholm, Mellbye & Bech. A former Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University New York, he has published on subjects including legal philosophy, democratic theory, judicialization, law and power. His most recent books are Makt og Rett (Law and Power) and Rettsfilosofi – en innføring (Legal Philosophy – an Introduction).

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