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American Political Science Association

Cambridge University Press
Doing Courts Justice? Studying Judicial Politics in Latin America
Author(s): Diana Kapiszewski and Matthew M. Taylor
Source: Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 2008), pp. 741-767
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20446826
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Articles

Doing
Politics

Courts

Justice?

in Latin

Studying

Judicial

America

Diana Kapiszewski and MatthewM. Taylor
The past decade has broughtan unprecedentedboom in thestudyof courtsas politicalactors inLatinAmerica.We examine the
on judicialpoliticsin theregion,identifying
thekeyquestions,findings,
extraordinary
diversity
of academic research
and theoretical
debates in the literature,
highlightingimportant
conceptualdisjunctions,and critiquingtheresearch
methods scholarsof judicial
work.We dose by suggesting
new avenuesof inquirytohelp advance thecollective
politicsinLatinAmericahave employedin their
efforttounderstandtherolescourtsplay inLatinAmericanpolitics.

C

ourtsare at theheartof a newwave of political
science,socio-legal,and public policy research
aroundtheglobe.Answeringa clarioncall forfur
thercomparative
of courtsfrom
Argenti
work,' scholars
na2 toZimbabwe3are increasingly
examiningthefactors
thatdrivejudicialdecision
making,therolethatjudiciaries
play indemocratic
politics,and thepracticalandpolitical
consequencesof courtsand law.The countriesof Latin
America,
with similarlegal-political
traditions
andbroadly
parallelpoliticalhistories,
providea particularly
promis
ingbatchof casesforanalysisand comparison.
Until recently,
however,thestudyof courtswas not a
priority
forscholarsof LatinAmericanpolitics:afterall,
one of thekey lessonsof theself-prodaimed
demiseof
theLaw andDevelopmentresearch
programthree
decades
agowas thatcourtswere seldomlikelytohavea positive
on politicaldevelopmentin thepresenceof execu
effect
tiveover-reaching.4
todemoc
Even thoughthetransitions
racyof the1980s had significant
implications
forLatin
Diana KapiszewskiisAssistant
Professor
ofPolitical
Science
at theUniversity
ofCalifornia,Irvine(dianakap@uci.
edu).Matthew
M. TaylorisAssistant
Professor
ofPolitical
Scienceat theUniversity
ofSdoPaulo (taylor@usp.
br).A
on
earlier
number
ofscholars
offered
helpfulfeedback
drafts
three
reviewers
ofthis
manuscript,
including
anonymous
at Perspectives
on Politics,aswellas theparticipants
on the
panelonLatinAmerican
thatwe orga
judicialpolitics
PoliticalScience
Association
nizedat the2006American
TomGinsburg,
annualmeeting,
as dis
whoserved
especially
andMartinShapiro,
cussant,
whoservedaas
chair.
Jefrey
Sta
tonandRobert
A. Kagan offered
comments
thatwere
inscopeand quality.
We alsoappreci
particularly
generous
atethehelpofallofthescholars
whoresponded
toourinfor
mal e-mailpollsregarding
in the
recentpublications
field.
doi:0.1

01 7/S105375927080813899

Americanjudiciaries,
on courtsin theregion
most research
beganwell afterthe "thirdwave" had passed through
most LatinAmericancountries.5Indeed,until the first
majorpost-authoritarian
volumeon courtsinLatinAmer
icandemocracies
was publishedin 1993,6most compar
on politicalinstitutions
in
ativepoliticalscienceresearch
the regionremainedfocusedon presidents,
partiesand
assemblies.
A first
setofworkson LatinAmericancourtsfocuses
primarily
on thejudicialreform
efforts
of thelate1980s
and 1990s,and on issuesof transitional
This lit
justice.
erature
has emphasizedthechallenges
of reform
(inpar
ticular,of simultaneously
addressingtheproblemsof
judicialindependence,
and accountabil
access,efficiency
ity),7as well as thedegreetowhich reformled to the
inways that
improvement
of courts'performance
might
A secondstrainin the
contributeto economicgrowth.8
literature
examinestheways inwhich the region's
new
to
authoritar
democraciesattempted addressremaining
ianenclavesand providetransitional
justice.9
The focusof theliterature
haswidenedmore recently
toencompasstwobroaderthemes:
courts'contribution
to
social justiceand judicialpolitics.Researchon thefirst
on theroleof courtsinadmittedly
themefocuses
unequal
LatinAmericansocietiesand, especially,
how theycan
contributeto bridginggaps in theapplicationof law,
includingthebreachbetweenformallegality
and actual
on thesecondthemeexaminesthe
practice.10
Scholarship
of courtsaspoliticalinstitutions,
performance
atboth the
level(deciding
who getswhat,when,and
micro-political
on disputesbetween
macro level(ruling
how),aswell as the
branches
of government,
and actingas a checkand a bal
anceon both theexecutive
and legislative
branches).
The focusof thisartide is thisfourthresearch
theme:
judicialpoliticsinthecontemporary
of
period.This strain
theliterature
and foremost
analyzescourtsfirst
fromthe
Decmber

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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

2008

1Vol.

6/No.

4

741

11(3) iseithera dissertation ormajor academicjour pleted.and countries underanalysis. With respecttocountries studied. orwithin countrycases (acrossprovinces. drawingbound aries around Books literature on Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. Single country nal articlepublished. 12and (4) study examinesat leastone LatinAmericannation. These figures containsome signalsthatthestudyof amaturingfield. Scholarsalsouse a variety of qualitative.littlecompara tive work isconducted-eithercross-nationally.and examineshow courtsdistribute political powerand affectpolicyoutcomes. in terms of thisliterature Figures1-3 showthedistribution of type ofpublication.9.or levelsof thejudiciary. suchas thejudicialization ofpolitics.8 on Wed.and scholars utilizemyriadapproachesto examineand explainvaria tioninthesephenomena.inwhichwe reviewthemain ques tionsscholarshaveposed regarding courtsand politicsin LatinAmerica.andwe closeby suggesting which thestudyof judicialpoliticsinLatinAmericamight proceed.thefigures iticsinLatinAmericatendtofocuson one countryrather thanengagingin explicitly cross-national inquiry.doctrine. Insofaras thequestionsbeingaskedvary among scholars. This articleexaminesthe richbreadthof research on judicialpoliticsinLatinAmericawith thegoalofcontrib uting to thecoherentand progressive accumulationof knowledgein thisfield.The chaptersand articles)ratherthanfull-length fewbooks thatfocusexclusively on thetopicaremore or lessequallydividedbetweencompilations of disparately themedsinglecountrychapters. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions More thanone country 31% . Main Research Questions Surveyed Literature in the Figure 1 Type of publication Articles 45% _ Chapters 32% Unpublished dissertations 11% 742 the large and heterogeneous 12% Note: publisheddissertationsare counted onlyonce.thebulkof thework comprisesshortpieces (book books. We beginour inquiryby offering a fewparameters. scope.time. typesof comparativeinquiry. 69% Despite ourattemptstobe systematic.areasof law. thenexaminethe literature's main find We nexthighlight ingsand theoretical debates.policy arenas. approachesor analytic methods. as books.248. com (2) iswritteninEnglish. theresearch programana lyzingjudicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica remainslargely uncoordinated. however.between1980 and 2006. judicial independence.book chapter. Each piecesurveyed here(1) focuses on thesubjectof judicialpoliticsasdefined primarily above. and judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica involvesdifficult controversial decisions. andmore in-depthcase studies(often springing from doctoraldissertations). forexample). explores how judgestakedecisionson polit ical issues.Undoubtedlywe have failedto will considergermaneto includesomeworks thatothers we With thesecaveatsinmind. and judicialpower.Further. Yet a suboptimalamountof cross occursamong scholarsaskingsimilarques fertilization tionsbut studying different or usingdifferent countries.ranging fromlegalscholars' focus on factorssuch as the legalprocess.and juris prudencetomore typically politicalscienceemphasessuch as the impactof judicialinstitutional structure and cul turalnorms. and game theoretic quantitative.thislackof coordinationisunfortunate but understandable. judicialpoliticsinLatinAmericaremains First. Brazil. The remainder of thearticlepro ceeds in fivesections.The fieldcomprises varioussub-themes.and thestrategic motivations and attitudinal forjudges'decision-making. muchof theresearch analyzes fourof the21 countriesin theregion(Argentina.analyzetheresearch methodsscholars have somedirectionsin employed. keycon ceptualdebates. Perhapsdue to thisdiversity.13 Fur demonstrate thatscholars of judicialpol ther. judicialpolitics.or a book.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? in politics:itexamines perspective of theirinvolvement theinstitutional structures thatunderpinand shapethat involvement. methods to and tocarry outvarious analyzedataand drawinferences. TheBoundaries ofOur Inquiry Lest thisenterprise becometoounwieldy. are reasonably confidentthatthe90 pieces considered hereare representative stateof the of thecontemporary debateon judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica. we havedelim Figure 2 itedtheliterature selectedforinclusioninour survey using Scope of research fouressentialcriteria.

inwhat patternsthispro over thepotentialroleof courtsas reluctant vetopoints cessoccurs. most studiesadopt an explanatoryframework.22 judges'preferences and severalothersexplorehow institutional and constitu tionaldesignaffectjudicialindependence and thescope of judicialdecisions.23 Most of theseinquiriesconcerncountries-such as ArgentinaandMexico-featuringhyper-presidential sys temsand a tradition of judicialdependence.iswhethercourtsarebeingincreasingly drawn adaptability ofpolicychoices. While someof this researchis largelydescriptive. 6/No.'7 Some scholarsquery thepoliticalconditionsunderwhich jus ticesor courtsruleagainstthegovernment.In suchset tings.and works thatdo not specificallyidentify a particularLatinAmerican country.24 Finally. question.First.mostLatinAmericanjudiciaries have been examinedinonlyone or twochapter-length studies or havenot been studiedat all. eree.full nationalor federal come ina distantsecond courtsystems place.and puts lessemphasis December This content downloaded from 132. a secondthatexaminesthe affect degreetowhich judiciaries publicpolicyoutcomes. Chile.seeking to understand whetherand how courtsactuallyact tocheckexecutives.'9 etaldemandscan activatecourtsand influence thedirec tionof judicialdecision-making.usuallycouched in terms or public-regardingness.but seemto tively resolve politicalconflict avoidcontroversial issuesat others.20 Others investigate the importance of institutional factors: Domingo. forexam ple. While some work in thisveinanalyzesjudicialassertiveness inauthor itarian settings.impartialref America. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 1Vol."26 While thisreport glosses intopoliticaldebates. Key Lines of Inquiry in theSurveyedLiterature We place the literature surveyedin thisarticlein three one thatfocuses on judiciaries' categories: interactions with otherbranches ofgovernment.a smallsubsetofwork addresses bothquestions.questioning why seem courtsfail to enforcecheckson the inglyindependent executive and instead deferto thegovernment. themajorityof theworkon judi cial politicsinLatinAmerica focusespredominantly on highcourts(supreme courtsor constitutional courts).8 on Wed.and societalrepresentative) and positsthatlevelsof andwhat sortof formalpower isdelegated?"4 A second judicialindependence areamajor determinant of courts' of thejudicialization ability"to improvethestability.Huneeus.15 activated byotherpoliticalactors.Three American Bankpublication summarizes four Development questionsunderliemuch of the researchon the inter key rolesLatinAmericanjudiciaries play in thepolicy actionbetweenthejudicialand electedbranchesinLatin makingprocess(vetoplayer. The secondmain lineof inquiry on publicpolicy.21 Brinksexaminesthedegreetowhich judicialreform affects and decisionalindependence.25 Courtsaspolicy-makers.policyplayer.16 The bulk of thisliterature is steeped in a normativesuppositionthatcheckson theelected branches-and especially on the region'spowerful executives-area positiveoccurrence. The third andmost-researched questionregards whether andwhen courtschecktheelectedbranches.A recentInter analyzescourts'effects Interaction between and elected thejudicial branches. 4 743 . and practically nowork examinesintra-judicial relations or dynamics. forexample. Finally.'8 Othersques tion theextenttowhich publicor societalsupporthas permitted courtsto challengeexecutives and implement or thedegreetowhich soci judicialpolicypreferences.A smaller groupof scholars-almostentirely students of theChil ean judiciary-reverses thequery.onlyscantattentionispaid to statecourtsystems.and ifso. most research examinesthequestionunder democraticrule. askswhetherinstitutional changesincreasetheabil ityof courts to act independently of the executive. andMexico).and Staton askswhyMexican courtsauthorita at somepoints.248.9. of politics.works thatcompare more than5 countries simultaneously. one thatprovides anda final ormainlydescrip classificatory tiveanalysesof courtsand legalinstitutions. whydo executives delegatepowertocourts.theexpectationis thatcourts will be neither willing norable tochallengetheelectedbranches.seekstoexplaintheevolution ofChile's judi intoa (selectively) ciaryfroma deferential lessquiescent power. and theintrigu ingquestionbecomestheparticular of con configuration ditionsunderwhich theywill dare to do so.althoughit isnot shownin thesefigures.Figure 3 Countries studied Mexico 18% Braid _1 6 to~~~~~~6 Argentina 31% J_ Uruguay 1% s _ Bolivia_ 1% 11 i l lrChile 15% _ Colombia Guatemala 2% El Salvador 2% / / Peru 2% Costa Rica 4% 1 5% Venezuela 3% Note:We have excluded fromthiscount edited volumes composed of countrychapters (each chapter is counted separately here).

in thepoliticalsystem parativeperspective. We findfive main areas since1991 theColombianConstitutional Courthasmade of consensusand debate.forexample.analyzing encompasses of regionalcourtsand judicial how societalactorshaveusedcourtsas an elementin their classification comparative of theevolu andmore historical mobilizationsagainstparticular structures. by "alter erature has askeda seriesof intriguing questionsregarding ingthepoliticalconstraints under which [they] operate.40 of different institutional structures judicialindependence.and The first areaof scholarship examines who accessescourts describesthecontroversies thatsurroundtheCourt'spol tocontestpolicy.LimaLopes.35 describetheopposite dependence measuresof judicialperformance.explore development in turn. constitutional (thoughextraordinarily lowercourts.Brazil. thiswork suggeststhatcourts'assump blockaccess.39 andTaylor.36 dynamic:how judicialrulesand structure more encompassing advantagecer incom tainpolicyactorsmore thanothersin thecourtsystem and todassifyconstitutional adjudicationsystems Suchwork has contributed to the and.drawingon the Laterstudiessoughttodevelop "havescomeout ahead" literature. judicialization. andMexico.38 744 relatively efficient highcourtthatcanonlybe directly Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132.42 of and thefunctioning judicialreview may lead to different patternsof policy thelegalsystemand therelationships betweenlaw. with a and on particular inefficient) features andtheir effects.8 on Wed.4" thebroadersocial inquiring howvariousfacets of judicialindependence and consequencesof legalchange. on policyoutcomes. policymaking suchasCosta alikeareawarethatjudicialdeci judgesandpolicy-makers Rica.exploringtheBraziliancase. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . themost attention on thesefivenations.29 And Iaryczower efforts havebeenmade toclassify tounderstand how lobbyingin legislatures may influence important judicialstructures and institutions. seek quitebroad.poli 43 contestationinBrazilianandMexican courts.thescopeof inquiry exploretheeffects of changesin judicialstructure on pol undertaken by scholars of icyoutcomesand politicaldebates28andon courts'influ judicialpolitics in LatinAmerica since 1980 has been ence inspecific et al. policyandbudgetary consequences. of uniformvariablesand datasetsthatcan.In sum.47 was rooted. both the inethe"judicialization ofprotest"inArgentina.examines why it Findings and Theoretical Debates toassume forLatinAmericanjudiciaries mightbe difficult In thissectionwe outline the findingsand theoretical and playan effective rolein thecreation of socialpolicy. Colombia. politicalactorsintoboth pre-emptive a numberof earlystudiesfocusedon identifying thestruc and reactive policychange. discussesthepressurethatsocialrightslitigation placeson ScholarsofLatinAmericanjudicialpoliticshave focused thejudicialbranchdue to itspublicpolicyimplications. institutional which features and facilitate icyrole. other lineof inquiryiscomposedofhistorically-based casestud pieces in thislineof inquiry developtheseissues. meant a substantialrebalancing of power inColombian abilityand democraticstability as previously weak actorscan now flextheir society.9. Scholarsof theBrazilianjudiciary.consequently.The nextsectionexaminesthe on socialpolicyas ticsliterature focuseson courts'effects findings and theoretical debatesthisresearch hasgenerated. ticsinArgentina.and society.34 He outlinestheeffects theCourt's ActivatingtheJudiciary rulingshavehad on thedesignof economicpolicy. forinstance.serveas a basis forfurther research the effects of thecombinationof relatively comparative progressive on judicialperformance.44 attentionto courts'willingnessand abilityto engagein expansiveaccess to judicialreviewin combination with socialpolicy-making and to theimplications forgovern thecreationof theConstitutional Court in 1991 have iscertainly warranted.forcing tionof courtsand legalsystems."30 thecausesand determinants of judicial involvement in Finally. mus and descriptive thejudiciary. iesof thedynamicsand institutions crucialto theevolu Rfos-Figueroa questiontheeffect tionof judicialpoliticsin the region:judicialreview.forinstance.32 debatesthathavearisenin theliterature on judicialpoli In a similar vein.and towhat effect courtsareused as an alter tionof a roleinsocio-economic iscontested: natepolicy-making venue.In somecountries. descriptions government policiesand With respectto thefirst. practices.33 And Uprimnynotes that emergedin thebroaderliterature. anyonewith theenergyto filesuit.and theresultant the"distributive deci highlighting sting"rights-enforcing scholarshipcontains themain conclusions thathave sionson suchcasescan carry. broad access to theconstitutional chamberof the means thatpolicyisopen tochallenge socialand economicrightscan sionson cases regarding highcourt byalmost More havesignificant And inColombia.Significant policyarenas.31 Courtis.37 more generally.45 SmulovitzandBehrendexam Classificatory analysesof courtsand legal clesthrough A finallineof inquiry institutions.a smallbutgrowingsubsetof thejudicialpoli politicsandpolicydebates.46 turalfeatures ofLatinAmericanpoliticsinwhich judicial Other scholars working in thisarea.27 Others tics. and thelit therolecourtsplay inpolicymaking indirecdy.248.Chile. a result of societalactors'initiation of socialandeconomic rightslitigation. decisionsthathave expandedsocialpolicies high-impact consistent with thebroad rightslaidout in theexpansive 1991 Constitution.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? thanitmighton thefactthatnot all judicialintervention A secondsubsetof literature in thismore descriptive in thepolicyrealmis likelytobe policy-enhancing. In sum.

which impliedsignificant reforms costsfor interest well-organized and entrenched groupsthatoften timeshad considerable accesstocourts. 6/No.62 There is overallconsensusin the literature on judi cial politicsinLatinAmerica thatthejudiciariesin the December This content downloaded from 132.thecon structionof judicialpower and the interplay between areques judicialindependence. With responses regardto thefirst.8 on Wed.53 among theseis theview thatcourts cur may serveto legitimate rentpolicydecisions: whileamore independent court may a fewpolicieshereand there. ofnew judicialreview pow ersand independence was motivatedby the guarantees. and itcan be "constructed" by judges who zealously calibratetheir decisionsagainsttheexpected of thepublic and theelectedbranches.particularly in the 1990s.. [which]functionas a formof pressurebargainingto 56Ithas been suggested. autonomy.accessedbya smallnumberof actors.andCostaRicancounterparts' foot stepsinbuildingjudicialpower.e.55 While mostwould agreethatjudicialpowerand judi cial independence are inextricably linked.increasing judicialpower inevitably issueof judicialaccountability.courts sym bolic rulingsin largelyinsignficant cases.thereis signif icantdebatewith regardto thenatureof therelationship.Consequently. Judicialpowercan be "delegated"by elected leaders who implement reforms toentrust powerto judiciariesin new democracies.thegradualconstruction of judi cial independencein an uncertainand extremely chal lenginginstitutional environment has been carriedout piece-mealthroughelaboratekabuki-style shadowbox ingbetweentheexecutive branchand thejudiciary.As Domingo has forevenwell-ensconced exec noted.thereare incentives utivestofavorindependent Predominant courts..In theColombian case.9. As strategies notedby severalauthorsin theGloppen et al.49 The strategic use of fullcourtsystems-fromlower courtsthrough highcourts-as a politicalbailiwickfor acrossLatin policyopponentsis a themethatis relevant inviewof theubiquityof economic America. 4 745 . power.48 This combination hasmeant thattheentirejudiciary has becomea "power forquestioningor blockingdecisions made fulresource" in thepoliticalarena. or theage-oldquestionof who guardstheguardians.57 raisesthe Finally. The highcourtinparticular has used itspower to securefor an "institutional environment itself where itcan remain freefromexternal politicalinterference. In Brazil forexample. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 IVol.." via "tokendeci sionsand declarations by theCourt and itsjustices. aswell as theinteraction cialpowerand judicialaccountability. compen may seektoconstruct powerthrough dium.judgesuse a number of formal and informal tobuildcourtpower. overturn when itsupports can theactionsof theelectedbranches. in other words.60 then?61 These and relatedquestionswill gain increasing rele vance ifmore of the region'sjudiciariesfollowin their Brazilian.52 But thedelegationof powerto courts may occureven when electoraldefeatdoes not loom.andaccountability tionsripeforfurther examinationinLatinAmerica. ratherthan through hugely momentous legaljudgments.limititsownpower)inorderto retainindependence: the refusalof courts to actuallyexercisetheirpowersof judicial controlof theconstitution. In terms of "constructed" power. . ExercisingJudicialPower in thePoliticalArena A thirdareaof inquiryrelatesto theconditionsunder which courts will exercise theother powerbychallenging branchesof government when theydeem thatelected leadershave oversteppedtheirconstitutional or legal bounds.judgesmay seekoutmerelysymbolic victoriesincaseswith little prac ticalrepercussion.50 BuildingJudicialPower A secondarea of scholarshipseeks to understandhow work examines courtsacquirepower..51 The PRI.248.thegovernment point to thatsanctionas legallegitimation.and atwhat pointdoes theirlackofaccountability becomea concern or well before onlywhen theybecome independent.saw thewritingon thewall.58Similarquestions progressive regarding judicialaccountability are addressedinGlop pen et al. scholars wonder about thepotentialforbacklashagainstthesurprisingly ConstitutionalCourt. represented thecontinuationof a longheld strategicstanceaimed atmaintaining theveryauton omy and political independencethathas historicallyallowed themtoplay a crucialrolein thepromotionandmaintenanceof the legalitythathas characterizedthecountry." thattheChilean judiciary had to engagein self-restraint (i. Finkel'sanalysisof theMexican case can lead to judicialinde showshowpoliticaluncertainty delegatepower to pendencewhen politicalincumbents courtsso as to preservetheirrightsin case theyshould become theopposition:shearguesthatthe1994 judicial with itsintroduction reform. while a fewvetoplayers with stand ingto filein thehighcourtareespecially well empowered toactivatethejudiciarytopolicyends. Colombian.:59How unaccountablearecourts.54 As they attemptto "grow"theirinstitutional power. Given thecounter-majoritarian of judicialreview. preserve incontrast.and a subsetof that thedialecticrelationship betweenjudicialpowerand judi betweenjudi cial independence. rulingparty'sfearof losingpower. character powerful courts may at some point issuedecisionsthatangera significant portionof theelectorate. and soughttheinsti tutionalprotections gainedbygranting greater powerto thecourts.The greater polit icaluse of thecourtshasmade thepotentially destabiliz ingcounter-majoritarian natureof abstractreviewstand in out high relief.

courts sitionfroma hostileexecutive branch)ifsufficient societal secondgroup.Colombia.as notedabove.strategic environment. stability.For instance. in thatdirection: to increasetheirantigovern some efforts Helmke and Sanders.248.Statonalsohigh theoretically havesignificant or unabletoassertitconsistently. and careerists. strategic accounts. of theArgentine ditionsunderwhichcourtsexercise severalscholars With regardto thefirst. which has also been raisedin theArgentine power. standard politicaland judicial seemsextremely and limit(orempower)politicalactors' where factorssuch as a lifetimejudicialcareerand the actors'strategies. eachof thatjudgesactingundersuchuncertainty controlof as thepresident's the three vote againstthegovernment main approachesto thisquestion in theU. approachtheendof While theattitudinal model has caughton executives gestingthatas incumbent ofLatinAmericancourts.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? A verydifferent factorhas been used in theMexican countriesthathavebeen thefocusof somestudycan be divided intodiscretegroupsaccordingto thefrequency case toexplaincourts' willingness and abilitytochallenge theactionsand policiesof theelectedbranches:theexis and degreetowhich theircomponentcourtsassertpower tenceof "basicsocialsupportstructures. Brazil.and iden the historical political emphasizes importance of judges:loyalists.S. thatthisapproach suggesting positstheimportant to judicialdecision-making and theexertionof judicial [ing]thegoals thatjudgeshave.many politicalsettingsin LatinAmerica and culturalexplanations."70 in thepoliticalrealm.74 In fact.suchasGuatemala. exhibittheuncertainty gic accounts. powerseemsmerited." and powermight have significant power in the strainingthe achievementof pre-existing explanatory isconstantly due to region. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and itsrelevanceto judgesseekingtobuild institu nationsinwhichcourtsrarely A third groupincludes tionallegitimacy. configurations text.69 746 formalism of thelegalsystem notonlyconstrain judges' Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. thecases which they challengetheelectedbranches (greater potentialsupportfora challengingdecision is Peru."66 on dem where thereis Incontrast to the Argentine case.but fordiffer supportexistsfora challenging decision. perhapsbecause thepost-transition coalitionhasmeant Concertacidn lyzetheongoinggame among thebranchesof govern nanceof thecenter-left new and few.63 are lesslikelyto behaviorinotherpartsof theworld. literature-the attitudinal model. which includes formal power. institutional thatis thoughtto lead tostrategic Hilbink.73 of different levelsof checksand lead to theemergence arenot on thedispersalof powerand com thatLatinAmericanjudgesand justices'ideologies balances"depending importantto theirdecisionmaking.8 on Wed.thereare secu slowlyamongscholars highcourtjudges"wholackinstitutional theirterms.Costa Rica. as a In so doing.71is thatcourtsmay feelempoweredto challenge courtsassertconsiderable In a rolesinnationalpolicydeliberations.especiallyin countries seemswarranted. icantly different electedleadersinhigh-stakes cases(even when facing oppo ArgentinaandChile.unpredictable. itmightbe salutarytomove towardtesting highcourtview theuncertainpoliticalenvironment Some scholars causeof strategic behavior argue hypothesesthathave been advanced to explainjudicial by judges.9.of judicialpolitics. equatedwith a decreasedlikelihood of subsequentattack The main factorsused to explain thewillingnessof poweraretheoverallpolit by theelectedbranches).andVenezuela. against ability tobring challenges government. on will topolicy(ifnot political)outcomes. ratherthanstrate na.notinghow similarinstitutional tifying Sincewe cannotassume institutionalists. the case. four"idealtypes" may policyseekers.where research viewofcourts The new institutional affect caseload of judicial institutions management.most research judicialattitudes. lightstheimportance of societalsupportin theMexican ent reasonsarereluctant exer case.In the firstgroup.developing ment rulingsto distancethemselves froma weakening instance. forexample. constrain pertinent choicesituations.for ritybeginfacingincentives haveexaminedthe"goals"of judges.'Helmke points toboth theuncer tainpoliticalenvironment new institutional approaches-hasexplanatory potential and institutional weaknesssug in theregion.72 He suggeststhatpublicsupportisan inpoliticsisspas cisepowerandwhere theirinvolvement important factor in justices'strategic calculationsabout of import and generally less recurrent modic. and increasingly.composedof The general Mexico.alsoaddressing government.but showpromise. has empha rangingfromlegalcultureto parts inMexico and Brazil.thoughtheyplaysignif case. roleof judicialidentity forinstance.68 approachhas counter nal to judicialinstitutions. sized how characteristics to judiciariesinLatinAmerica.ratherthansimplycon goals. further analysisof petitivepolitics.67 in"constitut judicialbehavior."65 of con the ing challenging electedleaders)to thosegoals. ocraticChile assignslesscausalweight to thepolitical greaterinstitutional accountsthatana domi Moreover. courtstochallenge government withincourts.as in The keypuzzle formost ment are relatively littlevariationon thatvariable. Furtherexamination of thesehypotheses and thecon and institutional factors icalenvironment. reinforced explainshow thatidentity veinof theU. argument.thenew institutional particularinstitutional takesintoaccounttheeffect ofvariablesinter increasingly This new institutional structure. independent Iaryczower's depictionof "strategiccompliance"and studying Chile iswhy relatively researchers of "strategic defection"inArgenti Most scholarsoffer Helmke'sdescription courtsexercisepower so selectively. a game-theoretic model thatlinksjudicialbehavior(includ Argentine Chavez.and Congress increases.S. literature rulesand theChilean judiciary's Finally.

PerezPerdomodescribes of courtstoprovideany who questionstheinability ingo. courts on the region's making decision totestregarding hypotheses courts. Farer.76 policewidespread can some whether courts' ders new-found to as the Madisonian independence what she refers crepancybetween on effects of powerhas been examined timesbe prejudicial.on theonehand.for sanguineabout courts'effects courts)may example."80 majoritarian thelinksbetween These contradictory regarding findings The studyof divergentpatternsof judicial per no doubt reflect authors'normative courtsanddemocracy formance-thatis.especiallygiven thecounter dependenton privatelaw .isclearlyneeded. edlyan uncertain topreservetheirpowerto freely A finalgroupof scholarsis skeptical about theimpact in thelegalrealm."'81 courts have different viewpointsregarding how.78 quotidianstruggles Lar on thisthemeisexempli courtsmighthave on many aspectsof democracy.arguesthatlaw (and.thesectors hopes regarding politicalstability. December This content downloaded from 132. and LatinAmericancontextsare so similarthattheoriesthat would naturally haveproventohavemerit in theformer thatthelitera are we suggesting in the latter.Miller. havebeen able to function racyare simply natureof judicialreview.forexample. in thisarticleeitherimplic Much of thework surveyed assumptionthat.S..aswell as empirical we the most important sourceof the that cases other issues-is suggest perhaps of clearly resolution involving delaying of analysis comparative on politicalregimes Further within-country regarding courts'impacts inchoate..85 Othersseecause executive byDom in theArgentineand.researching ofdemocracyin and consolidation arenasof public atureon thetransition ciseof powerby courtsacrossdifferent LatinAmerica..e.we are not suggestingthattheU.thepotentialpositiveeffects typesof cases. lifeand in regardtodifferent of thedeci andon thelegitimacy of courtson democracy Mexican case. critically threats to individual rights. .248.87 decide lesscontentious.86 And Faundezdrawson theColombian In a relatedvein.analyzesthestrategies fiedbyRodriguezet al. Magaloni notestheincon Discussingthe continuetobe a governments checksthatcourts sionstakenbydemocratic effective betweentheincreasingly gruity on courtsin theregion.who questionthe"selective exec Menem (1989-1999) used to reconfigure inwhich theColombian judiciaryfunctions. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 1Vol. mightwell benefitfrom politics. tem courtscircumscribed itisundoubt democratization.88 Taylor questions areperpetu forms of corporatism This view whetherlongstanding absorbedby procedural.and regime dynamicson theother.Our main point is thatthefieldof comparative with one footplantedinpublic lawand judicialpolitics. for in cases regarding preferences of example.as holds thenormative itlyor explicitly fortheworking al. This dis appraised.evenas ual rights bymembersof thestateor third the 1990sbut thenacted toblockpoliticaloppositionin theyhavemanaged to checkexecutives(albeitinconsis thenextdecade.75 Of course.. . even innearcrisis."82 A fourththemequestionstheexerciseof judicialpower democratic inmuch of thecomparative politicsliter isalso reflected theunevenexer beyondthepoliticalrealm. givenover President to commercialand financialinterestsand primarily utive-judicialrelationsin his favor.90 with littledisturbance. example. 4 747 .83 and indeed.79 rulesgoverningconstitutional with its ated by the institutional of SpanishAmericanlaw.low-salienceissues. branchsincethemid-1990s." realmso as lutelyfutile path towards peredtheirown power) in theconstitutional one. again.89 emphasison thenotion thatdespite "wide swingsin todemoc courts'potentialcontribution and . 6/No. theotherincomparative cross-regional fertilization. Gloppen Yet analysts of democratic and consolidation regimes. affectregimedynamics. on individ how theverysameVenezuelanhigh courtjusticeskept againstencroachments protection meaningful politicalchangewithindemocraticlimitsat theend of parties.Couso arguesthatChilean tently).presumably. uncertainty themain reason why theissuehasnot whichgetstothe and simultaneously theunevennatureofcourtperformance.Mexican contexts policymaking84 forcelebration aswell as concern. Arenas TheExerciseofJudicialPower inDifferent to "deepening[the]rootsand enhancing[the] contribute This belief qualityof electedgovernments.S. keymotivationforresearch haveplacedon theexecutive biasneeds suggestthatthisnormative of thepoliticalsystemto successfully Others implicitly and the inability won for One to be group. JudicialDynamics and Democracy more tacitthanexplicit-debatein A final-and perhaps betweenjudicialinde therelationship theliterature regards pendenceand judicialpower.exactly.ofwhy judiciariesrapidlyabsorband or variationinLatinAmerica.9.8 on Wed. Nor apply of new source is the only possible tureon U.Yet certainissueswhile deflecting processcases regarding biases. misplaced.Some analystsare absolutely on democracy. "courts are important et note. echoesMirow'shistory wonderwhetherour And otherauthors reviewinBrazil.77 toarguethat isnotan "abso while legalreform experience theirdecisionmaking (i. A secondbranchof research thatArgentine way" kins.suggeststhattheway inwhich a "sociology developsand evolvesina politycan affect judicialreview" courts'abilitytoconstraintheexecutive.of theirnormative optionsbutmay also be constitutive public policy.leadingto unpredictable andHobbesian dimensions ordemocracy. greater heartofquestionsof judicialpowerand judicialpoliticsin theregion.

adapting.whose essentialinterest is incourts.8 on Wed.91 In sum. rarely an explicitfocusof research. Sec ond. We debates remain incomplete insomecases. (3) democracy. time. portraying judgesas unwitting ization.issueareas."97 AndwhileTate In thissection. thebreadthof theterm's phenomenon(if definethekey terms Second. has produceda rangeof intriguing We suggestfourfactors cal debate remainsembryonic..and rights ofdelivering protection. departfromthatconsensus. Vallindersuggests thatjudicializationinvolvesthe infusion of courtsinto politicalarenas. Domingo.despitethewealth of hypothesesand insightsthebroaderjudicialpolitics While thefactthatLatinAmerica literature has to offer. dynamicshighlighted by scholars when authorsdo definetheirterms. work concernsdifferent usedby those scholarsarehesitanttoemployframeworks who studyotherregionsin theworld..judicialindependence.Finally. further muddyingtheanalytic democracyas a causeof judicialization.Of thetermsreviewed here. [it] reflectsthe constructed degree towhich regimelegitimacyis increasingly upon thepublic perceptionof thestate'scapacityand credibility in terms on ruleof law. ceptualizations To offerjust in theinconsistent oper useof concepts. are while a backdroptomany inquiries. to use law and legalmecha nisms tomobilize around specificpolicies. especially when that acknowledge and cite related nations in the region. however. fewadopt narrower definitions. outlinethedebatesthatsurroundthem-acknowledging victimsof expandingand politicallyexplosivecaseloads.or judiciallevelstoname justa fewpos sibilities)diminishesthebasis fordebate and compro mises our abilityto adjudicateamong thecompeting explanationsforkey phenomenaof judicialpolitics. itcross-national. ofdebate.Second.92 Nonetheless.and to offera foundation thatcan be used tobegintobuild towardgreater concep tualawareness.understands judicial izationas: first. equatingjudicialization oroperationalizing with judicialpower.judicializa tion is perhapstheone on which thereis thegreatest degreeof conceptualconsensus.In LatinAmericaas and we urgently need to clearlyconceptualize elsewhere. social and economic interests and demands.and hypotheses regarding therelationships empirically explorethosepropositions.theprocessbywhich thereis an increasein the impactof judicial decisions upon political and social processes.definejudi ofVallinder'stwodimensions.research on judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica Yet theoreti findings. Third. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . we identify democracy threecentralconceptsin the temporary bias in andVallinderseem toassumea kindof structural on judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica (judicial literature and judicialpower). Most of theauthorsin thesurveyed literature who definethetermstartfromthe essential definition offered byVallinder.most scholarsof judicialpolitics in Latin America.achievingcleardefinitions pre-requisites forthecon workableoperationalizations and developing The blocks of our theories.94 Others adopt broader definitions.First.9. theprocessbywhich political conflictis increasingly resolvedat the levelof the courts..thedearthofexplic theutility ofLatinAmerica(be research by scholars itlycomparative or subnational comparisonacrossspace.politicization (ofthejudiciary). operationalizethese threeconcepts. While spacedoesnot allowus todevelopa discus sionof thissecondgroupof conceptshere. and judicialaccount ability.Perez Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. see theirconceptualizations.A debate finalreasonforthelackofmorevibranttheoretical may be thefactthatwe haveyet to completeimportant forsuchdebate..Third .Articles I Doing Courts Justice? amoreheateddebate-is thefactthatthelinks generated (2) judicialpower.and between(1) judicialindependence.scholars' lightedbyTate andVallinder.and exploring of thoseexplanations.First.96 as drivenby the"very weaknessesof con waters. whereTate andVallindersee thespreadof reflect twoexamples.93 thetermas some thingakin to judicialactivism.Our aims in thissectionare to showhow theconceptualization chal lenges mentionedaboveare reflected in thestudyof judi cial politicsinLatinAmerica. judicialization inLatinAmerica.95 Threemain conceptualproblemsplaguestudiesof judi consensusregarding theubiquityof cialpoliticsinLatinAmerica..we pointout a fewof thechallengestheypose forthe fieldof judicial politics.Finally.thejudicialization con of LatinAmerica contrastin interesting or reconciletheir wayswith the definitions acknowledge competing thecausesandconsequences resulting generalizations regarding high with thosepreviousdefinitions.. Despite therelative many authorsfailto mean the not onwhich theirstudiesrely.thisshould not preventus fromadopting.248.theyinfrequently ing). means followsthecivilratherthancommonlawtradition thattheories developedtoexplainjudicialphenomenain mightneedtobemodifiedinordertoaccount otherregions foroutcomesin theLatinAmericancontext. CentralConceptualDebates Judicialization.forinstance.and theadoptionof court-like or legalis ticdecision-making processesin non-judicialsettings.. that may havehamperedthedevelopment scholarsof judicialpolitics in the regionoften fail to work.both inLatinAmericaand beyond.develop testable among them. thatthose 748 someLatinAmerican scholars question thisview. forexample. Conceptual Debates and Challenges alsobriefly mentionthreeadditionalconcepts:theruleof law. the that form building cepts nextsectionexaminesthisissue. ofkeyterms do notalwaysfaithfully ationalizations Siederet al.and favorof judicialization.. cializationas justthefirst A Some scholars. it refersto thegrowingtrend .

103 therangeof casesonwhich they will do somay be circum "autonomy. "internal 0 This dimensionof judicialinde independence. The literature on judicialpolitics Judicialindependence.forinstance. andwhetherpoliticiansact in with thoselegalprovisions. in the interest of comparative work acrossandwithinLatin tractability Americancountries."'05 This dimensionincludestheabilityto ofoneof thosebranches.248. Independence of lowercourtjudgesfromtheirsupe riorsin the judicialhierarchy-thatis. salary.a court'sdegreeof autonomy of definition may be influenced and by itsinstitutional stability.likelythetrickiest explored numberof simpledefinitions exist.however. then.In otherwords.arguingthat twocleardistinctions are apparentin thediscussionof independence: judicial"independenceto" takedecisions in thecase of an (forexample. we acknowledge that outlinedabove. Further.8 on Wed.it is thefreedom todecidecases withintheconstraints imposed bythecourt's jurisdiction.Priorto a particular Brinks. by existinglaw.judges must have inde pendencefromthepartiesto a suiton twodimen sions:theirpreferences and theirdecisions.with lowinternal inde pendence. noted of enhancingtheprobability and above.: "theextenttowhich justicescan reflect their in theirdecisionswithout facingretaliation preferences measures.onemightseekevidenceofvisitsto jus adic disputeresolution.Jary czoweret al. Autonomyof thejudiciaryfromotherbranchesof while avoidingmore controversial cases. a courtsystem suchasChile's.independent. government. chal dependentcourtsareperfectly capableof selectively lenginggovernments: forinstance.doing so beliesscholars'tacitassumptionthat courtsshouldruleagainstthegovernment-anassump tionthatignoresfourcrucialpoliticalrealities. courtsize.imply scribedby thepreferences 6 takedecisions freeof pressurefromthe elected ingthattheyarenot."' Nonetheless. sureindependence thefrequency withwhich byevaluating courtsruleagainstthegovernment.101 Rios-Figueroaexpandsthispoint.both in terms of thelegalprovisions thatestablishtherelationbetweenjudgesand theother branchesof government.or whether in factpoliticalactors invitejudicial interventions. evencourts widelyconsideredtobe independent more fre of thegovernment. 6/No.exemplified by laryc zoweret al. notingthatjudgesmust be ticesfromexecutive branchpersonnel(oftencapturedin December This content downloaded from 132.thatthesensiblecourse is to stickas closelyas possibletoVallinder's simpleconceptual formulation."14 referred toalternately as "political auton Thus evenwhen courtsdo challengetheelectedbranches. First.106 An initialsteptoward thefirst operationalizing dimension 2. tenure.Judicialindependence does not mean completefreedomtodecidecases.can be expectedto perform more uni and efficiently thana courtsystem withhigh formly internalindependence. judicialindependence and fromseriousoperationalization it.100 As Miller suggestsandmany agree. suchas Brazil's.warn that"judicialindependence cannotbe measuredsimplyby considering of gov judicialreversals ernmental acts."'108of pressure by theelectedbranches.'15 branches.107 would be to thinkabout potentialempiricalindicators sometimesreferred to as "judicialimpartiality. wonderswhetherjudicialization is theresult of courts'voluntary assumption of amore active role. case selection mecha nisms(especially inhighcourts) maypermitjudgestoissue inlesshighly challenging rulings casesthatfall within charged the"toleranceinterval" of theexecutiveand legislative 1. Independence ofa courtfromthepartiestoa case.suffers by rulesregarding appointments.102 accordance Butwhat does independence entailinpractice? There is widespread agreementon three dimensions of independence: neither(1) identified with."" pendenceobviouslyhasconsiderable bearingon the and uniformity of a courtsystem's efficiency influ ence on policyoutcomes.98 Debates aboutvariationin judicialization arecentralto theevolution of thejudicialpoliticsliterature.invokes Shapiro's model of tri judicialdecision.one fundamental isiden challengeinconceptualizing judicialindependence whom" courtscouldor shouldbe indepen "from tifying dent.forexample. There aremany difficulties associated with operation Somework seekstomea alizingjudicialindependence. It seemsto us. oppositionpoliticalforcesfrequently use thejudiciarytochallenge perfectly legaland constitu tionalgovernmental of their policiesas an extension polit icalstrategies elsewherein thepoliticalsystem.againstthegovernment unconstitutional act). in fact. Moreover. quentlythannot rulein favor Finally. 4 749 ." branches. and judicial"independencefrom" otherpoliticalactors.'113 Third. While we endorsethethree-dimensional Obviously. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 IVol.9.leave implicit one important factorthatshouldbemore explic itlyrecognized:the law.it isundeniablythecase thatgovernments often actconstitutionally thatjudicialendorsement of (implying their actionscannotbeequated witheither orsub deference servience).A pendence. is replete with discussionsand analysesof judicialinde of theterms here.too.109 3.and in lightof themeritof thecaseat hand. aswell as amongdifferent of regions theworld.Other thingsequal.nor (2) unilaterally influ in theoutcomeof encedbyanyonewith an interest thedispute. challenges." dence." 104 or "political indepen omy."112andwe agree:interpreting rulingsthat seektoplace limitson theexercise of government power as evidenceof judicialindependence can bemisleading."99Such simpledefinitions.Perdomo.

Understoodas such. itseemsstraightforward ruleon a narrowrangeof topicshas lesspotentialpower thanonewith broad jurisdiction.previousjurisprudence.Articles I Doing Courts JUstice? a certainruling.8 on Wed. In terms Related ConceptualChallenges ofdecision.as well as are ruleof law. Draw compliance ingon the Mexican case.'17Inaddi amendment.'25 lier: whilemany studiesof judicialpoliticsinLatinAmer icahave interpreted judicialchallengestopowerful actors (in particular.theelementsthatwe suggestcomprisejudicial in practicallyeverystudyconsid powerare referenced eredhere. composedof jurisdiction activepower.'19 one useful way toconceptualizejudi cialpowermightbe tounderstanditas comprisingpoten tialpowerand activepower. is at theheartof activejudicial Judicialassertiveness power. he arguesthatcourtssometimes engage in "strategic public relations"-thatis.123Itwould thusseem thatjudges'discretionis limitedfrommany directions. (2004) approachtheissuefromthe ofaccountability. The finaldimensionof judicialpower. The secondand relateddimensionofpotentialpower latitudeiscon isdiscretion.121 on courts'freedom allplace limits to thecom Three otherconceptsthatare fundamental of the secondgroupof constraints. they must issuerulingson conflictsintowhich theyare unwillingly pulledbypoliticalactorstakingadvantageof judicial "veto points"122 or "legal opportunitystruc tures." 18 on thepowerof courts. inpractice. ruling constitutional and retaliation thatare resistance tionto the"extra-legal" commonplacein someLatinAmericancontexts.anyof legaland theseactions(manyofwhich can be perfectly repercussions forjudi couldhavesignificant constitutional) cial independence. all else on. None analysesfocusexplicitly theless. and it isobviouslyhighlyrelevantto on theeffects of courtson regime dynamics.judicialassertiveness and the ofpower(which factors thatguidecourts'selective assertion may varyacrosscountries.greater potentialpower.laws. able to ruleinall policyarenas: courtsarenot necessarily constitutional may preventthemfromexer stipulations And. while judgesmay not be able to createnew law out of whole doth.make public their oppositiontogovernment policies in a (not alwayssuc of government cessful)attemptto increasethelikelihood compliancewith a judicialdecisionagainstthosepoli cies.Yet in Latin America's weakly institutionalized contexts. courts.changesincourts'administrative aryconditions.and types of case.constitutional stipulations.and bypolitical As to thefirst setof constraints. Taylor.248.We thinkfurther studyof complianceshouldbe on judicialpolitics a keyobjectiveas theresearch program inLatinAmericamoves forward.to theideaof with judicialdecisionsby losingparties. or politicalaccountability accountability courtactingin themost judi eventhemost independent cialized contextwill fail in its effortsto curb over executives). among otheraxes).onemight tryto themedia). Any court'sdecision-making strained bothby legal-institutional rules. The term"judicialpower" is used far in the literature on judicialpolitics in less frequently and few LatinAmerica than is "judicialindependence.Statonhas takena substantively admirablefirst andmethodologically stepin theexamina tionof compliance.time. any research Further. Althoughwe when cizationof thejudiciary.it seemscommon sense to do so.9. say.judicialpower is implicitinmuch of thewriting on judicialpolitics:it is impliedinnotionsof horizontal (withoutpower.For instance. judi and existingdoctrine cial rules.Afterall. obligeanswerability bypublicofficials enforce on governments their controllability overstepping bounds. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Culling ideasfroma rangeofwork (andguidedinpart and authority by thediscussionsof judicialassertiveness inKapiszewski). courts facing feweror ambiguouslydefined legal institutional and politicalconstraints havemore discre tion. cisingjurisdiction thata courtthatcan only equal.room for innovation oftenexists.authoritative ness. toconsidersuchchallenges of judicialassert an indicator iveness. nessand authoritativeness mightconstitute matter would referto"therangeof subject Jurisdiction While fewscholars uponwhich thecourtsmay rule. Judicialpower."'20 of judi includethisattributein theirconceptualizations cial power.or attacksin themedia) and otheracts rebuketo thecourts(anover thatconstitute a significant forexample). tochoosetheir ownbattles iscompromised ability 750 Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. it is implicitin thenotionsof judicial reaching (judicialpower isa pre impactor judicialpolicymaking requisiteforboth).the executivebranch)as an indicator of we proposethatit ismore accurate judicialindependence.politicalrights.124 And asKapiszewski(2007) documents.refers to theextenttowhich a court'sdecisionsare regarded as legally bindingand.politi Wilson and RodriguezCordero point out that judges' parativejudicialpoliticsenterprise and accountability. perspective askinghowwell courtsensure and transparency. has been a major objectiveof the research on judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica.An assertive courtisone thatchallenges powerful Herewe againemphasizea keypointmade ear actors. calculations asGargarellanotes. following actsof retribution (includingthenominationof identify or budget new judges. theycan often exploitambiguitiesin the legal-institutional contextto with the elected defensively manage theirrelationship branches.Potentialpowermight be while assertive and discretion.and thus. both theArgentineand BrazilianSupremeCourts take full advantageof thefactthattheyhave solecontroloverthe timing of theirdecisionsto"choosethepolitical moment" atwhich to hand down controversial rulings.In short. and context.126 Gloppen et al.

we critiquewhat we see as the insuffi isa conceptual useof research Accountability. Others use thetermto referto the thanthoseused in related work.Its cientlyself-conscious methodsin thestudy use indiscussionsof judicialpoliticsinLatin of judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica.Yet as editedvolumeson theruleof law in theregion. we hope bothwill serveasmotivation address. To be clear. In thissection. increasing We also suggest how Americahas corresponded with thepublication thefailure of thefieldasan explicitly roughly endeavor comparative byGuillermoO'Donnell ofvariousessayson thesubject.129 careful useofconcepts will facilitate dialogueamongschol activerole in politics in a numberof LatinAmerican ars. understanding courtsand as a coherent forward whole.e. and thedegreetowhich individ empiricaltesting. Accountability upstart. prosecutors."Rather to degree which courts (and oversight agencies)engagein thanenteringtheconceptualfray. of account discussions operationalization: inone sense.248.. and offer compellingreasonsfor connotationis negativeinmuch of thework surveyed theirdeviationfromthosedefinitions. elected leaders. Ruleof law.and subjecttocategorical rejection-thatis-we are notionsuchas received in such fact accountability ultimately compromise judi immediately "dataproblem.127 Conceptualized as ians.8 on Wed. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions IVol. one of themostwidelyusedand least judges.theconcept's posed byotherscholars. politicalpartiesor partisanideologyto judicialappoint vidinga commonstarting point fortheory-building and ments or promotions.then. This necessarily partialreviewof thecentralconcepts and conceptualdebatesin theliterature on judicialpoli Politicization of thejudiciary. First.ishow todelimitaccountability: altogether. Research Methods do not have space toadequatelyaddresstheseimportant conceptsin all theircomplexity.and help thejudicialpoliticsresearch move program how politicsaffects countries.performance) myr iad potential actors (e. December 2008 This content downloaded from 132. nomenon inevitably precedesor followsthejudicializa We do. The termisgenerally We do not presumethatthediscussionsabovewill con employedonlywhen authorsare arguingthatthephe stitutethefinal word on anyof theconcepts mentioned.g. 6/No. theirdecisions-and thusunderstanding whatwe mean by and how we measure the "politicization"of the judiciary-willlikelybe increasingly important.oversight For instance. the"politicization" of thejudiciary.g."the meaningof isaboutasmuddled as conceptsget in the 'accountability' socialsciences. scholars use the termin discussingthe welldefinedandoperationalized isthe"ruleof law. 4 751 . which towhat of to or ability actors and whom.theruleof lawrepresents ability with of judicial immediately intersect analyses an important conceptualshorthandforadherenceto the independence: does judicial independence account require lawas amatterof socialpractice.probity. nuancedor inclusive definitions of fundamental concepts arenon-law-driven).but scholarsrarelydefineor discuss limitations and contributions ofpastworkwill enablethe as theyanalyzejudicializa politicizationas thoroughly fieldtobegintodevelopa dialogueabout terms and con Two possiblemeanings are the importance of tion.132 surveyedliterature and in thebroaderfieldhave found used to refer to also or (as noted judicial accountability." paralyzedby a significant cial The central dilemma that scholars independence? must Neitherof thesechallenges theconcept justifies discarding account in fact. Among themany conceptsdiscussedin the agencies. subjec jurisprudential ormight tradition). Yet as soon as thecon to some it ability greater to an authority (be oversight ceptualrubberhits theempiricalroad. may be preventing itfromrealizing itssignificant intellec andhasbeencemented by itsinclusionin thetitle of three tualpotential. andmay involve policy.130 theeditorsofoneof thesevolumesnotes. trackshiftsin partisandominancein government (i. "131This confusionisdue inpart to the factthat"accountability" has variouspotentialobjectives (e. littlecommonground-existingdefinitions of thecon the earlier) old dilemma of who shall guard theguard Our secondconcerncenters on ceptvaryconsiderably. the ruleof law body such as a judicialcouncilor to some amorphous definedas suchbecomesinherently immeasurable.9. we arenot endorsing com ual judges'decisionsalignwith theirpoliticalpartyor If scholarsprefer more plete conceptualhomogeneity. we brieflylayout some centralconcernsinhopes thatfuture judicialpoliticsstud of theseimpor ieswillwork toclarify conceptualizations tantphenomena.128 ceptsthattakesintoaccountexisting thuspro definitions. We believesuch Given thatcourtsappeartobe assumingamore here..One way or theother. we will simplyexpress routinized control elected officials' of actionssuch that twoconcerns.133 such. ideals. of theconceptual hope thatrecognition tionof politics. tive. however.Anothertermthatisoften ticsinLatinAmericasendsa critical atten message:greater is usedbut seldomclearlyconceptualizedin theliterature tionmust be paid to thedefinition and useofkey terms. media.efforts todefinethetermboth in the are they "answerable" for Yet thetermis their behavior. surveyed literature.we simplysuggestthat focuson judicialdecisionsin debates in the theyindicatehow theirdefinitionsrelateto thosepro increasing broaderbodypolitic. towork toward forresearchers moremutuallyinformed end? conceptualization..publics).

140 data on thenumberof courtsand thechangein thedis tribution of casesamongdifferential judicialinstances.it isperhapsno on courtsinLatinAmerica is surprisethattheliterature suchwork servesas thefoun predominantly descriptive.As theircategorization as "descriptive" suggests.134 inter primary documentsavailableinnationalarchives. or small-nor case study work (towhich theywould be more likelyapplyqualitative analytictechniques). instrument. thetechnique herefailedtoreport employed workssurveyed was to selectthejudicialdecisionsonwhich theanalysis based.to name justa of suchtoolsisdisappointing andunfor few.With regardto qualitative methods. tratethevalidityand utility ofgame theoretic methods in thestudyof judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica.so of theresulting generaldescription readers knowwhetherthescholarexamined. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .149 The legalcase reviewsinour survey.Comple mentaryqualitativesourcesincludemedia accounts.forinstance.it bias theirsamplestoward means scholarscould in theory cases thatsupporttheirarguments.We also improve feelitwould be advantageous toslidetheresearch program's centerof gravity closerto theexplanatory endof thespec trum. involvement describ ingcourts'historicalevolutionovera certainperiod. First.141 and lics.135 non-participant viewdata. models. may leadtotherecycling of erroneouscondusionsabout how courtsbehave.all cases inwhich a decisionwas all cases in theuniverseof a particularlegal rendered. Such casesand decisions may ormay not of thecourts of thedocketand rulings be representative and theirre-selection understudy. surveyed aredividedbetweenqualitative On thequalitativefront.We case-selection advocatethatscholarsemploysystematic techniques-andthattheyincludein theiranalysesa dear of thattechniqueaswell as a and justification description universeof cases.'54 Beyond thesefew works.This isdangerousin a numberofways. these worksaregenerally not intendedto testhypotheses. unlessrigorous techniquesare employed. AnalyticMethods A numberof analytic methodscouldpotentially be used tostudyjudicialpolitics. In lightof the field'srelative youth. programadvances.etc. all of thecaseson a court'sdocket. Most of the A secondconcernregardscase selection. Also. thosedatawere collected. analysis. These areobviouslyallworthygoals.themost-often used typeof data.scholarscan tend to re-select frompre thecases thataremost familiar and re-analyze vious research.as do many of thecontributions to theeditedvolumeson the region.248.thewrittendecisionsof courts are.perhaps.providingin-depthreportsof courts' in judicialpolitics. aswell asmore socio legalanalysis150 also fallin thisdescriptive camp. 39 and broader pub data on lawcoursesand judicialsalaries.Larkinsutilizesa critical inhis longitudinal framework juncture/path-dependence of theArgentineandPeruvianjudiciaries.'42 Other researchers createdtheirown data and databases: mea measuresof institutional evolution.138 legal experts. ina given but rathertodepictthecurrentstateof affairs country.144 measuresof judicialopinions and thevotesof individualjusticeson particular cases.theunder-use bothStaton'sandHelmke'sinquiriesillus tunate. The bulk of the researchsurveyed here fallsinto the descriptive camp. necessary/sufficient conditionsframeworks. Ragin's"qualitative comparative analysis"(QCA).and ineitherrealm.however. documentthepresence of judicialpoliticsor judi cialization.147 In theexplanatory realm.143cross-national suresof constitutions.137 With regardto quantitative data.'52 work uses explanatory methodstodrawcausal quantitative statistical inferences.136and data gatheredthrough observation.148 or alternately.153 including And a finaltiny subsetuses game theoretic methods to explainjudicial phenomena. and providecloseanalysisof particularjudicial features.schol arsmight approach theiranalytictaskdeductivelyor inductively. usingrigorous Given thatthenuancedand causallycomplexnatureof would seemto lenditself judicialpolitics naturallyto the useof rigorous suchas con qualitative analytictechniques counterfactual gruencetesting. As theresearch dationof anyfield. most scholarssimply do not report research methodsofanytype.Scholars mightengageindescrip tiveor explanatory work.146 the studies listedabove constitutea Unfortunately.15' examination and variousstudiesutilizeprocesstracingtohelp explain court-executive Anothersmallsubsetof the relations. thusstandout. build theconceptsthatformthebasisof our inquiries.9. While manyotherauthors of theworkssurveyed. A fewexceptions analytictechniques. therichvariety ofmethods applying mentioned Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. and fuzzy-set analysis.145 contentanalysis of inter andmeasuresbasedon systematic view transcripts. only "dramatic"cases.8 on Wed.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? Data Colection The types of data and evidencepresentedin theworkwe andquantitative. a substantial of thestudiesreviewed hereare proportion to narrative historicalaccountsthatmake littlereference or explainhow thespecific data thatsupporttheanalysis. Further.the more frequent use of qualitativeor quantitative methods todrawinferences and identify patternsin judicialbehav iorwould further our descriptive base. mightcarry out large-n research (which tends tOlenditself toquan 752 titative analyticstrategies). minority and likely usedvarious probablycarriedout fieldresearch data sourcesin theiranalyses(beyondjudicialdecisions).fewpiecesmake effective useof themany excel lentresearchtoolsthatareavailableto carryout qualita or theequallyusefulsetofquantitative tivecausalanalysis. With respectto thesubsetofwork thatisexplanatory innature. the rangeincludes surveys of judges.

of nationalcase studies-a format Our survey also revealed a greatdeal about thetheoret lengthcompilations icalorientation thatshouldfacilitate comparative inquiry-donotneces of the field.Given thecrucialimportance ascribedtothewaves in theregionover toearlierthatattempt of economicand socialpolicyreforms Further. and anycountrybut the withinthesamenation.155 UnitedStates. example).sinceour sur gooddata ina consistent trycan be quite difficult.In short. can involveserious methodologicalchallenges:collecting studyof judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica?In a sense." entlydefensible). vationsthanexplanatory on judicialpoliticsinLatinAmericahas addressedsome Yet on thewhole. fieldof judicialpolitics. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 IVol.160 we believethatour collectivefailuretoproducerigorous importanttheoretical debates-such as thoseregarding cross-national analysisrepresents a missed opportunity. thefieldof different levelsof thejudiciaryina particular country. 4 753 .for ment inpolicymaking Finally.heretounderstanding thecausesand consequences ofcru cialjudicialprocesses.the abundanceof existingsingle-country an important Our surveysuggests imbalancein theLatin American judicialpolitics researchprogram:while an studies-themajorityofwhich arecareful anddetailed incredibly richbodyof case studieshas been produced.courts.and a numberofothercasesoffers the potentialforhighlyrevealing cross-regional comparative Methods ofComparison analysis. beyondstudiesreferred incourts'involve to categorizejudiciaries institutional fea thepastquartercentury. First.aswell as carrying out strong lackofcross-national analysisisunderstandable (andinher "mid-level.histories. tures.Extending tiveinquiry Martin Shapiro'splea thesurveyed lit thatscholarsstudyany lawbut constitutional Regarding comparison. an A secondlineof inquiryrelatesto the base with such a strongdescriptive concern.fewstudiescomparedifferent tionacrosstypesof law.157 to check(ormore likelytodeferto) electedleaders.this mannerinmore thanone coun is thewrongplace toanswerthatquestion.and countries.the ing local levelknowledge.Scholarsof LatinAmerica drawout thecross-national forbeingquitegood at produc sarily comparisons implicitin haveearneda reputation theanalysesthatconstitutethem.any eraturedoes includea numberof piecesof exemplary courtbut theSupremeCourt.little makingacrossdifferent policyareasina certainpolity. despite region. Further. Our surveyof the Brazil.includingin contextsoutside the and theverydifferent formsthatjudicial judicialsystems.schol acrossvarying arenasofpublic life(refer arshave exploredtherelations betweenthejudicialand decision-making toour discussionof theexercise of judicialpowerindif electedbranches ofgovernment.9. comes.In a or acrossdifferent areasof law(publicand privatelaw.as noted earlier. comparejudicialpractices. theyareinthe minority. variables.for region thisisobviously pronetohyper-presidentialism. offers a richopportunity formeta-synthesis and compar in been ison that thefieldhas lesseffective undertaking couldlikely yieldimportant forthebroader compara returns withinor acrosscountries.thedelegationand con Given thebroadsimilarities thatcharacterize theregion's struction of judicialpowerand itsexercisein thepolitical December This content downloaded from 132. knowledge.248.16" fewauthorsgo beyondLatinAmericatodrawcomparative lessons. While somescholarshavebegun tocomparejudicial the theoretical debatesrevolve. politicstakes. with twonotableexceptions. India. important courtshaveon thepolicyprocessand policyout laid.thereis littlerigorouscross-national inquiry. theactivation of judicialactors. how courtsfunctionat Over itsbarelytwodecadesof development.LatinAmericaseemsto represent an ideal laboratory foranalysesthatprivilege breadthoverdepth. theoretically informed empiricalstudyof one 163 To what extentis thattrueof the Engagingincross-national comparison ormore countries. 158and a handfulof articles159offer dissertations explicitly tion theseworks generateformsthebedrockof our evenbook cross-national analyses. judi Conclusion cial rulingsor. Korea. of different example. 6/No.Portugal. While severalunpublished analyses ofcourtsand legalinstitutions.andMexico would lendthemselves to suchanaly literature revealedthree major linesof studyaround which most important sis.SouthAfrica.thereisenormouspotentialforsubnational compar effects ativework.To some degree.of thepolicyeffects judicialframe a thirdlineof studyincludesclassificatory and descriptive or cultures. ofdifferent thedecision-making statesupreme contrasting fewstudies courts. and inparticular thecon ferent work has comparedjudicialdecision ditionsunderwhichLatinAmericancourtsaremore apt areas). scholars' alongdifferent interest alsoseemsquiteappropriate. within-country law.8 on Wed. In short.'62 of particular subnationalregions countries-forinstance. Moving inthatdirection couldeven tuallyleadus tobroadertheoretical conclusions that would be testable beyondtheLatinAmericancountriesinwhich theywere generated. Moreover. as can drawinganything more veyof the literature-bydesign-excludeswork that is thantentative lessonsfrompairedcaseswith fewer obser But it is fairly evidentthatwhilework solelytheoretical.156 judicialpoliticsinLatinAmericahasgrownquicklyintoa despitethe factthatfederalsystemssuch asArgentina. research acrossvariousperiods we encouragefurther comparative examina However.more generally. The thickdescrip works. eclecticand excitingareaof inquiry. thefactthatexistingresearch on Spain.

and theoveralleffect We firmly ofLatin nationalanalysis.and little has beendone to integrate "allotherlegally-trained who under lessons.168 Com subnational prosecutors analysiscan take myr comparative suggested..165 holdof For themost part.248."'64 Moreover.169 Finally.it natingfindings tOconsider theimpacts thatlegal haveyet couldbe informative politics' mostinteresting dynamics berofjudicial 754 Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. haveinhib othercharacteristics Yetwe believeat leastthree toconceptualiza progress: our inattention itedthefield's tion.and evena handfulof cross-national studies.and of judicialcouncilsin judicial of theworld. on politicalliberalism ofwhat they case studies.and Legal Institutions inquiry.8 on Wed.and regime on judicialpoliticsinLatin icson theother-the literature future examination. withoutusing rigorous methods to select eraturefromoutsidetheregion. reinventing thewheel. examinestheeffects themand drawout their referto as the"legalcomplex"(thebench. of judicialpolitics generating Additionalstudyof thesepowerfulindividuals mightgo a contributions.inparticularinLatinAmericawhere law professors often litigate.and have barelybegun to of judicialpoliticsinLatinAmericahavenot thatstudents or the on developing andemploy explorethepoliticization of theregion's judiciaries placednearlyenoughemphasis definitions forkey terms. and engagingin thatsortof studyallowsana without provideeffective which insightsinto choices regarding of comparativeinquiry lyststo reapthebenefits crimestoprosecuteandwhich policysubjectstopriori facingthemethodologicalchallengesinherentin cross ofprosecution. theoretical our analysesof judicialpolitics.For instance. we endorse morework judicialpolitics.9. of the severalof thefundamental region'sjudgesand justices. debatesaboutcourtsinotherregions Related to the issueof theory-building-and despite politics.and legal institutions That privilegebelongsto scholarsofU.while theoutcomeof interest isdiffer with historicaland linguistic countries similarities.LatinAmerica is a regionof broadertheoretical personnelina society char takelegalwork"). more bureaucratic. American lawyers.Courts. nationalcomparative inquiry. With regardto thefirst. while thefieldhas produceda hostofwonderfulcountry et al.S. we highlight someprimecandidatesfor pendenceandpoweron theonehand.and theroleof Brazil'squasi-independent ativeadvantage. courts. and regime dynamics. longway in informing Second.they inquiry and inform (oftenreferred to as theDefensor delPueblo). an editedvolumebyHalliday With regardto theformer. Why might thisbe thecase? aftermath identifying and analyzingtheconnections betweencourts One obviousansweris time:thefieldofLatinAmeri can judicialpoliticshas existedforlessthantwodecades.as thediscussionsabove has sparkeda burgeoningliterature. implications of thatdynamicforthose who populateLatin ingclearand operationalizable or on takingintoaccountexistingconceptualcontribu Americancourts. thebar.perhapsbecausescholarshavebeen racingto of judicialpoliticsin theregion Scholars find cataloguetheemergence wishingto takethisapproachcouldcertainly in thejudicialpoliticslit most analystshavecarriedout foundations strongtheoretical and analyzeitsdynamics. Yet we also proposea sharperfocuson the involve Without greater cases. withotherprosecutorial bodiesin theregion parison might iad forms. andEuropean future study. ent.Futureworkmight of theoffice of theombudsmen will likelyproducenew find exploretheinvolvement of eithersort. tions(whether more insulatedthanthoseof their workwhen defining keycon and toa certaindegree scholarsdrawon previous NorthAmericancolleagues. believethatifscholars tize. methodologicalcare the fieldwill have enormousdiffi ment in and importanceto judicialpoliticsof actors as a scholarly enterprise.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? betweenjudicialinde realm.gatherevidence.Here we may be jumpingon a moving movingforward culty A finalissue thatmay have hinderedfurther theory traingivenrecent publicationsin thisspirit. There has been littleanalysis(inEnglish)ofLatinAmer emphasison comparative scholars ican judicialelites.More ceptsratherthanconstantly culture.of auditors. theirinquiries or drawinferences.litigators often teach. and sub Perez Perdomohas authoreda book examiningLatin buildingis theabsenceof deepercross-national Also.we know little our review of thevariousunderstandings or preferences conceptsin thefieldsuggests about thebackgrounds.aswell as therelationship tobe thefocusof sustainedinquiry.In theremainder of dynam thisconclusion. with thepotentialto influence ingsand insights of councilsof state.167 we echoEpsteininurgingscholarsto "graspthecompar Garro has takena lookat theroleof thepublicministry inArgentina. ideologies.our lackof methodologicalrigor. and thatfacilitate cross-national acteristics examination.which includesthreechapterson LatinAmerica. beyondjudges.and our weak Actors.thisis not alwaysthecase. We thenadvocatean expandedfocuson the of judicialrulings. toacceptor rejectthem).theeffectiveness in on more of these American judicialpoliticsengage comparative dynamics judicialpolitics.justices'ideology.thefocuson thisbroadersetof actorsis instructive. We first mentionsomeof theactors. thatwe might bring into America is not at the leadingedge of theory-building.and advancesthefieldhasmade and thefasci theintellectual academicscan be a sourceof authoritative ithasgenerated-webelievethata num doctrine. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "self-aware" conceptualization exert in some on more broadly applicable tudes must effect their decision-making.166 Although thecareerpathsof some We suggestthat LatinAmericanjudgescan be longer.and atti would doubdessaid thefield and evenwhere it is. Finally.

andmold thebreadthand reachof their courtsaswell as theirsusceptibility topressures fromthose rulings.g. theletter and spirit of judicialrulingsthatchallengetheir and potentialfor exercise of powerareobviouslyof particularimportance Colombia.248. For instance. a highlydisciplined with a court'scontroversial andhigh-profile decisions may inChile and a somewhat verticalstructure disjointedone endup significantly As a result.Chile. courtsare typically describedin interpretation.whetheror not sions.which theirinter-relationships.174 More generally. theaggregate.legaldoctrines.In procedural dynamics codes.local inourunderstanding of judicialpoliticsinLatinAmerica levelconditions iflaw itself variancein judi may lead to significant were tobecomeamore prominent consider cialperformance For theirpart. constitutions. towhat degree.we keep and lead tonew insightintojudicialpolitics. thereisalready someconsensus Further.we believe it is crucial thatour in turn.thatwe us can lead to insufficient attentionto the"everyday" or examinecourtsfromtheinsideout. when.We would highlightlowercourtsand elec revealed through research thatfocuses on highcourtsalone.The of thejudiciary.171 We arenot suggesting thatpolitical courtsby theirverynatureplay at thesensitive coreof scientists becomelegalscholars. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 1Vol.to arriveat a clearerpictureofLatinAmerican additionalstudy. ferentlevelsof a judiciary may be greatlyinfluenced by begin to examinethebroader impactof judicialdeci how strictly hierarchical thejudiciaryis. (ifanyone)controlsthedocketand the timingof deci and intellectually.judicialrul those who analyzejudicialpoliticsinChile andBrazilthat ingsmatterfarless.academics(and legaleducation)may have on judicial lateralentryispermitted. missing element is attentionto We also advocatefurther studyof thenatureof the whether. "on theinside"or tohow thisand other investigating courtsfunction and includingsuch legalinstitutions inour features examinations of judicialdynamics-evenifdoingsomakes might differacrosscourtsand over time.Those rela On a similarnote.'73Studying TheAftermath courts'internalrulesand processes. and how appointment and promotionoccur. toralcourtsas twoparticularly interesting candidatesfor In short. sions.electoral ation inour analyses." Without compliance. politics. While thesecourtshave trig thatinour analysesof thejudicialization of politics.whetherhighcourtsorallydeliberate of judicialbehaviorand politics. and Peru). we simplybelieve Rather. thefactthattheyoftentransfix our studiesdown and acrossthejudicialranks. While theinterventions of highcourts judiciaries and judicialpolitics.and that we examine "routine"justicecarriedout by lowercourts. What ismore.andwhy thoseagainst relationships amongdifferent courtsanddifferent instances whom courtsrulecomplywith judicialdecisions.and constrainjudicialactors.therelationships amongcourtsat dif we hope the literature will however. judges inBrazil)are important to theshapeof judicialpoliticsin maymake strategic choicesas theyconsider whetheror thosecountries.A first general.and judicialrulings. exploring they courtsactually make (aswe assumeallwho study tobe endeavorsthat would improve ourunderstanding of judicialpoliticsdo). the interactions incourtsaspotentialagentsof "hor competitionbetweenthesetwobodies is importantto forstudiesinterested understand. and judicialbehaviorin afterthey judicialefficiency make thecrucialrulings onwhichour inquiries tend to focus. involvement and of thejudicialpoliticsfoldmightprovideusefulintellectual theirwillingnessand abilityto assertpower.9.who play.. we suggestthatgreater judi advancescouldbemade cial politics.of themfurther into courts'increasing geredrecentinterest.it iscrucialthat we move aredoubtlessimportant.for instance. among izontalaccountability. 6/No. 4 755 . weakeningitspower. thedemocraticprocess.littleattentionisgiventohow individual enable.procedurally.andwhatwe can inferfromthatimpactabout the December This content downloaded from 132. forcountriesthathaveboth speedatwhich and degreetowhich executives adhereto a constitutional tribunal and a supremecourt(e. Indeed.8 on Wed.Few analysesfocuson whetherhigh court presidentsare ourexplorations more time-consuming andcomplicated appointedor elected(andbywhom) andwhat rolethey would doubtlessenrichourdescriptions and explanations overcases. a lackof compliance inter-instance relations(specifically.172 incorporating inpolicy-making.laws. we must investigate what happens inparticular. settings.and how. canbemore sociallyrelevant and certainly influence Finally.175 Consequently. substantive and examinedtheinternal of theregion's courts. theories of judicial much of the literature. may be ponderthetiming variationin local judges'influence considerable on high of their decisions.examiningand con We also suggestfurther of theaftermath exploration of theirformal and informal trasting institutional To statetheideaplainly:ifwe carewhat rules. may influence thefulljudiciary's effect move beyondhighcourtstoexamineotherjudi on policyand politicaloutcomes inways thatare not analyses cial bodies. courts. inmind thatlegalrulesare thefundamental synergies background Our nextpointsconcernwhich facetsof thecourts for judicial behavior.170 As Beer has found. One can easilyimaginethatthere not to challengetheelectedbranches. tionships. and existingjurisprudence allmotivate. make decisionsall seem difference how. whetherjudicialcareersexist. acrossstates.logistically courtsdeal ofJudicialDecisions with theirfrequently immensecase loads.Even in Latin America's least Fewauthorshaveclosely institutionalized mightbeworthyofgreater study.

adjudicateso-calledpoliticalquestions. By tracingthe resultsand broaderaftermath of judicial what function decisions. While judgesarecertainlyinflu serving enced bymany other factors.e.and institutional crises. To understandjudicialimpact.economic.'83 And at leastone scholarhaswonderedwhethercertainpolitical are inherently dynamics(i. while scholars ofLatin Americancourtshavebegun to addressthecrucialtopic of social rightsadjudication.therelationship betweenjudicialpoweron the one hand. preventing us fromperceiving what difference regimetypemakes to judicialdynamics and judicialpolitics.dientelism184) incompati ble with strongcourts.high literature qualitydemocraciesand thatweak courtscan imperil them. we believethatthislackof clarity at leastinpartfromthefactthatfewscholarsfocus results on theempiricallinksbetweenjudicialdynam specifically icsand regime This isnot tosuggestthatstudy dynamics.theyhavebeenparticularly susceptibleto repeated political.economicpolicy-maker.'80 and how farcan thisprocess go without testingthe limitsof majorities'patience? What. Moreover.scholars have lesstosayabout the A few of judicialweaknessfordemocracy. To offerjustone example. and as an oftensilentbut centralconspirator of research While thereissome theformulation questions. normsand beliefsabout democracymay be more relevantthan the attention devotedto themwould suggest. and politicaldynamicsand thequalityand ofdemocracy on theotherremains stability quiteunclear.177 Courtsand RegimeDynamis Democracyis theelephantin thecorner.and affect politicaland policyoutcomes. We natu rallyassumethatjudgesactdifferently underauthoritar ian and democraticconditions.248.or givepri orityto individualrightsover broadereconomiccon cernsmay all revolvearound judges'understandings of democracyand theirbeliefsabout thebestwaysof pre or expandingit. law.Such events ofconflicts thatpoliticaland social producean array actorsare increasingly turningto the region'scourtsto resolve.'86 Moreover.176 theextraordinary policy consequences-andeconomicramifications-that courts' rulingsin thisareacanhaveareseldomfully addressedin thosestudies. in otherwords. racy. implications connectionin authorshave examinedthecourts-regime out bothhistoricalstudies theVenezuelancase. Decisions aboutwhethertoenforcesocial rights. ingjudicialpoliticsforitsown sake isnot important-it obviouslyis. How do LatinAmericancourtsrespondwhen theyaredrawn intosuchprocessesof dramaticchange.187 An equally importantissue is courts'involvement in fundamental politicaldynamicsthatdo notnecessarily butcertainly can-have regimerepercussions.'79 formajorities.carrying of theperformance of courtsduringpast authoritarian of therecentreversal of the interludes and examinations democraticorderand dilutionof judicialpower. guardianof the or any of democraticprocess. thingof a consensusinmuch of thecomparative politics courtsareimportant thatstrong forstable. Theyarelessstudied than arethe Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132.178 as suggested above.To what degree icantpolicyrepercussions enhancethe"consensual nature" does theirintroduction of somepoliticalsystems. are theconsequencesof judicial 181 anddemocratic powerfor"policystability governance"? Towhat extentdo expandingjudicialpowerand lowjudi an "explosiveformulafor cial accountabilityrepresent 182 democracy'? Somewhatparadoxically weak (giventhatcourtsremain inmuch of theregion).and democratic politics? In sum. Does judicial weakness inex 756 orablyencouragethetrampling of institutional limitsby Are certaininstitutional electedleaders? frameworks more toexecutive susceptible abuse?How doescorruption influ ence judicialdynamics and judicialpolitics? Can legalcul turesemerge-both in thecourtsand in society more broadly-thatprovideeffective protections againstexecu tivetampering and corruption?.It loomsoverall of judicialpolitics.as both a motivatingforcebehind in research.8 on Wed.Yet a seriesof other important questions remains unasked. no such consensus exists in on judicialpoliticsin theregion. andwhat lessons do theseepisodessuggest aboutthenature of judicialpoliticsand the relationship betweencourts. be itas an effective defender of socialrights. LatinAmer icandemocracies periodically experience "critical political suchaswar or shiftsin thedominantnational junctures" politicalcoalition. theliterature For instance..In countries marginalized of specificinterests groupsor representatives may be intro with signif duced intothepolicygamevia thecourts. myriadrolescourtshave thepotentialtoplay.yet few studiesfocus explicidyon thiscontrast.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? or rolesthatcourtsplay in thecountries of the functions region.severalscholars wonderabout theeffects courtson executive of strong policyautonomyanddemoc with powerfuljudiciaries.theway inwhich judges understand democracy may have an important effect on theirbehavior.But giventheconsensusthatcourtshave the insub democratic potentialtoaffect qualityand stability stantial ways-and that thequalityof democracy may influence courtbehavior-focusedinquiry on thecourts regimeconnectionshouldbe of paramountimportance. we need to knowhow judicialdecisions-such as thosemandating free medicineor electoralrecounts or pensionincreases ripplethrough politicalsystems.85 A relatedconcernregardstheeffect of democracyand democraticbeliefson judicialbehavioritself.we will be able to determine courtsareactually playingin thepolitiesunderstudy. As suggestedearlier. It isno longerreasonabletoarguethatLatinAmerican courts areunderstudied.likedevelopingdemocracies theworld over.9. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . provideammunitionin politicalbattles.

and Garc?a-Villegas 2003. and andcurrent strong foundations address estLatinAmerica'scourtscontinueto generate.188 thedeveloping we vibrantnew fieldof inquiry. Prillaman 2000. we recognize that the English-language consumption of local literature may not always accurately reflect local debates. 31 Note thatwe have excluded from our sample work that examines social and economic rights litigation but does not reference courts' effects on socio economic policy-. Rios Figueroa 2006.g.g. 15 Faro de Castro 1997. for instance. and Tommasi 2006. Domingo.and are thesubjectof more recentresearchthancourtsin anyotherregionof Yetwhile judicialpoliticsinLatin world. 23 Colon 2003. We firmlybelieve that a major goal of U. 30 Iaryczower. Staton 2004. such work falls under the third research themementioned in the Introduction and thus outside the purview of this analytic review. Finally. Buscaglia and Ulen 1997. andTommasi 2002. 2004.g. what effects theyhad on authoritarian regimes' 1 Epstein 1999. Navia and Rios-Figueroa 2005. Skaar 2002.9. Wilson and Rodr?guez Cordero 2006. 26 Stein et al. 21 Domingo 2000. of course. decisions. Ungar 2002. 2005a. Gargarella. our searchwas We apologize to any au tilted towards the former.given the abundance of on judicial politics in political science literature Latin America and given that legal scholarship less often has a judicial politics bent. 22 Brinks 2005. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 1Vol.-based schol arswho contribute to this research program should be to enter into dialogue with the authors of the literatureproduced in the region and hope that our discussion of one segment of the literaturewill serve to encourage such Gloppen. 94. 17 E..but theyare thefocus and legislatures. and Macaulay 2005 on domestic violence. Staton 2002. 3 Widner2001. 2007. Schjolden. research themto addressunder-analyzed employ scholars'carefuluse of conceptsand systematic program's methods. 12 The bulk of the literaturewas published post-1993. More recentwork in this vein includes Brinks 2008. Sieder. Schjolden. Skaar 2002 on human rights. 10 E. Domingo 2004. While we strove to examine both the political sci ence and law literatures. 7 E. and Roux 2006. thorwho feels he or she has been incorrectly ex cluded as the result of our necessary. 24 Hilbink 2003. 5 Huntington 1991. and Angel? 2005. made later in the article. Uprimny. Spiller. 8 E. 2005..Given theresearch ment of research theinter momentum. Spiller. but inherently we have taken the subjective.. 14 See. 4 757 . Hilbink 2007. research on Latin American courts.g. Gonzalez-Enriquez. Castelar Pinheiro 2000. 2008. 19 E. and Angel?. and Finkel 2005.. O'Donnell. 1997. executives region's ofmore inquirythanin thepast. 13 The main compilations are Friedman and P?rez Perdomo 2003. Chavez 2004b.g. 2 E. Couso 2002.g. 27 Rios-Figueroa and Taylor 2006. Iaryczower. 16 Among the issues explored in studies of courts in authoritarian regimes (e. Finkel 2003. for example.g. is published in Latin America. Americaisan undeniably program Whether theresearch stillhavemuch to learn. Mag aloni 2003. in Spanish or Portu guese. 2004b. 25 Huneeus 2006.. twoworks that fall of authors' privilege including policy goals. Five published dissertations are Chavez 2004a. Rodr?guez.8 on Wed. Uprimny 2004. Chavez 2003. 4 Trubek and Galanter outside this temporal horizon: Kapiszewski 2007 and Taylor 2008.. Scribner 2004. Ballard 1999 on privatization. Wilson 2005. that the literatureon judicial politics in the region seldom December This content downloaded from 132. and towhat degree they protected human rights.. Pereira 2005.. Ginsburg and Moustafa 2008) arewhy and how courts supported military usurpation of the democratic rule of law.Hilbink 2007. Helmke 2002.g. Arantes 2000. 2003. Barahona De Brito.g. and Skaar 2004.248. all investigate the judicialization of politics in the region. 6 Stotzky 1993. worthyendeavor. 2004a..S.g. O'Donnell 1994. Hammergren 1998. Larkins 1998b.. Buscaglia et al. and Pinheiro 1999. and Sieder. Gargarella. 9 E. MacAdams 1997.g. 28 E. 6/No. M?ndez. collaboration. The fact that littleof thework on social and eco nomic rights litigation in Latin America addresses the policy implications of judicial decisions illus trates our claim. 2006. 20 Smulovitz and Peruzzotti 2000. and Peruzzotti and Smulovitz 2006a.While some of thework considered here 11 Most that references literature.Helmke 2005. 18 E. Fuenzalida Faivovich 2003. ingthesechallengesisan especially Notes 1974.. spreadsitswingswill depend in greatparton howwell past studiesand buildson futureresearchincorporates and on themes. Mainwaring andWelna 2003. Finkel2008. 29 E. and Taylor 2008. and Aguilar 2001.

34 Uprimny2006. Gargarella. 36 For instance. 62 As we will explain in furtherdetail below." the "hegemonic preservation thesis" expounded in Hirschl 2004 is also similar. particularly. Diamond. we under stand such challenges to the elected branches as demonstrations of judicial power. 42 E. 63 E. Kapiszewski 2007. A logical question that arises with regard to theChilean case iswhether a court that 58 59 60 61 758 must limit its actions in order to retain its indepen dence is. Helmke 2002.. and Hiskey 2005 evalu ate judicial performance using a composite measure comprising judicial independence. Kapiszewski 2007. 2004. Staats. The "strategic revolution' that has occurred in the study of judicial politics in other parts of theworld (e.g. Rios-Figueroa 2006.... and several pieces from a sympo sium on judicial review in the SouthwesternJournal ofLaw and Trade in theAmericas (Barker 2000 on Mexico. in fact. Rosenn 2000 on Brazil. 32 Courtis 2006. 41 E.g. and both Helmke and Scribner. Nino 1993 on Argentina. 50 E. apply that approach within a separation of powers framework. and Skaar 2004 As Santiso 2004 suggests. 67 Scribner 2004 represents an exception. Helmke masi 2002. Furnish 2000 on Costa Rica.9.g. 64 E. Spiller. Herrero 2008 extends the analysis by suggesting that strategic behaviour on theArgentine Supreme Court results from the absence of ideologically-based political parties inArgentina and the country's persistent regime instability. 33 Lima Lopes 2006.. 2002. examining Argentina and Chile. 31. 66 Chavez 2004a. 55 See also Dodson and Jackson 2003. Cepeda Espinosa 2005. 78 Couso2002. 1995.g. 57 Couso 2002. 49 This phenomenon is perhaps best described? outside the Latin American case?by Stone 1992. Bowler. 5. independent to begin with. 43 E. P?rez Perdomo 2005 exploring Venezuela. Rios-Figueroa and Taylor 2006. and Taylor 2008. 203. 71 Smulovitz and Peruzzotti 2003.. 2008.g.. 69 E. 81 Gloppen. and Tom masi 2002. 35 E. Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. Farer 1995 on the region as a whole. 82 Farer 1995. Spiller. accountability. Iaryczower. 73 Helmke and Sanders 2006. 39 E. and Scribner 2004 also employ the strategic actor approach. Nonetheless. 76 Magaloni 2003. 1299. 291. and Skaar 2004.. Supreme Court. 65 Helmke 2002. 52 Ramos Romeu 2006 comes to similar conclusions in his large cross-national study of constitutional courts.g. 70 L?pez-Ayll?n and Fix-Fierro 2003. 86 P?rez Perdomo 2005. 123. As Gargarella 2004 argues.. 164. Faro de Castro 1997 and Arantes 2005. Arantes 2005. 44 Wilson 2005. Chavez 2004a).Wilson 2005. Spiller. 38 As in Skaar 2002. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .g. Helmke and Sanders 2006. refers to this delegation of power to the courts as the outcome of "electoral market logic. Ginsburg 2003. efficiency.g.access. 46 Smulovitz 2006. Linz and Stepan 1996. in his study of a trio of Asian cases. 37 Navia and Rios-Figueroa 2005. 2005. and Tom 75 Miller 1997. and effectiveness. 79 Rodriguez. Whittington 2005 makes a similar point regarding theU. 40 E.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? examines compliance with or the broader aftermath of judicial decisions. and Skaar 2004. andWilson 2000 on the region as a whole). 53 Domingo 2004. while some analysts of judicial dynamics consider judicial challenges to the exercise of government power to be an indicator of judicial independence.g. 1. andTommasi Scribner 2004.8 on Wed. Staton 2002. 2002.g. Gargarella. 240. 72 Staton 2002. Uprimny. L?pez-Ayll?n and Fix-Fierro 2003 addressing Mexico. 84 Santiso2004. 45 Cepeda Espinosa 2005. Uprimny 2004.. Iaryczower. a subset of the surveyed literaturedraws on a "soft" strategicmodel (often inspired byNorth andWein gast 1989 andWeingast 1997. 54 Gloppen. Colon 2003.g. Epstein and Knight 2000) has not yet had a significant impact on the study of judicial dynamics in Latin America. 48 Taylor2006b. Behrend 2006.S.g.g. both addressing Brazil. and Plattner 1999 and Maravall and Przeworski 2003) tomake arguments about the emergence of checks and balances in the regions new democracies (e. Ballard 1999. 90-91. Verner 1984. Iaryczower. 74 E. and Garc?a-Villegas 2003.. Friedler 2000 on Chile. 83 E. and more recently Schedler. 251. 154. Gloppen. 47 Galanter 1974. 85 Fiss 1993.g. 713. Rosenn 1987. 80 Mirow 2004. Gargarella. Fiss 1993. arguing that Chilean judges can and do act strategically. 77 Domingo 2004.. 68 Hilbink 2007.. 56 Faro de Castro 1997.248. Gargarella 2004. 51 Finkel2004.

109 Brinks 2005. 122 Taylor 2006b. 6/No. 612-13. 11. We thank an anonymous re viewer for this insight. and Colon 2003. 94 Couso 2005a. To these first two dimensions of independence. 117 We recognize.. 13. inmany parts of Latin America. 6. and may rule against the government in order to favor those allies. 92 Vallinder 1995. While there is some divergence among these scholars in terms of the conditions under which they suggest dependent limit the exercise of government power evenwhen such a decision would seem "legally inescapable. dimensions (1) and (2) may incorporate her solution to this problem. 2. For fur therdiscussion of this distinction. 88 Larkins 1998a. 103 Couso 2005a. 107 Couso 2005a. Iaryczower. To the degree that such pressures are carried through the elected branches of government. We are somewhat less convinced by their practical concern. 110 Rios-Figueroa 2006. 93. andWilson and Rodr?guez Cordero 2006. Angel? 2005. P?rez Perdomo 2005. See. 2005. 749. 123 Wilson and Rodr?guez Cordero 2006. which analyzes the frequencywith which theArgentine Supreme Court ruled against the constitutionality ofmea sures taken by the government. operationalizing. which analyzes the tactical use of the courts by opposition parties in Brazil. 125 Of course.. 5. courts can challenge within existing or go beyond them.g. required under cur rent law and impossible for even themost depen dent courts to avoid). Courts that legal constraints. of course. There are at least two types of rulings against governments: those that are "legally inescapable" (that is. Scholars have fought over the proper defini tion and conceptualization of democracy for de cades. Schjolden. 124 Roux 2004. that it can be quite diffi cult to tie particular government actions to specific judicial rulings. 111 E. generating a vast literatureon the topic (see Collier and Levitsky 1997 for one summary of the issues). The challenging nature of the enterprise. 2004b. and Shvetsova 2001. 93 Faro de Castro 1997. and explain ing it: Staton 2002.and judicial independence. Chavez 2003. Shapiro 1981. 419. however. Helmke 2002. and Tommasi 2002. ch. 105 Domingo 2000. Spiller. they each posit a connection between rulings on cases involving government interests. measuring.g. 118 Of the literature surveyed here. 91 We acknowledge that this is far easier said than done. 779. eh. introduces a seldom-considered concern: indepen dence from democratic pressures. 101Miller 2000. and Sieder. the rules re garding appointment and tenure. 106 Chavez 2003. September 17. does nothing to diminish its importance. 108 Domingo 2000. issue decisions that go beyond existing legal con straints are either acting illegally or are activist (or both). 96 T?te and Vallinder 97 98 99 100 463. 708. Knight. Domingo 2000. see Feld and Voigt 2003 and Rios-Figueroa 2006. 110. Uprimny 2004. 2006. 89 Taylor 2008. andTommasi 2002. however.. guarantees courts should be more or less likely to rule against the government." Personal communication. Finkel 2003.8 on Wed.87 Faundez 2005. courts at times fail to rule to 102 Rios-Figueroa 2006. 121 Gargarella 2004.which some Latin American countries represent. Domingo 2000. Particularly in institutionally insecure con texts. Kagan reminded us of one furtherprob lemwith many measures of independence that is extremely relevant in Latin America's more institu tionally robust contexts. for example. only fiveworks reference "judicial power" and expressly focus on defining. Finkel 2003. not mandated by existing legal tradition and doctrine).). 2005. 699. and is part of Finkel's 2003 defini tion of judicial power. the difference between formal and practi cal independence can be quite dramatic. 115 Robert A. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 1Vol. 116 Another possibility is that courtsmay lack inde pendence from powerful ?^-governmental actors. 4 759 . Of course.248. and those that are "escapable" (that is. Taylor 2008. 423 and in Larkins 1998b. We would highlight an addi tional differentiation: between "formal" or "de jure" political independence (the degree towhich courts "should" be independent based on constitutional of budgetary autonomy. Verner 1984. 699. etc. 95 Domingo 2004.9. 119 Kapiszewski 2007. 112 Iaryczower. Spiller.g. 114 Epstein. 1995. 104 Rios-Figueroa and Taylor 2006. 113 E. with the interpretation of the court's behav ior depending mainly upon the interpreter'spoint December This content downloaded from 132. and "practi cal" or "defacto" political independence (the degree are able to take decisions towhich judges actually without undo interferenceby other political ac tors). 2004a. 90 E. 120 Jurisdiction has been referred to as "institutional scope" in Larkins 1998a.

in several chapters in theGloppen. Gargarella 2004 and Santiso 2004 both use the term in this sense as do Staats. 156 Notable exceptions include Skaar 2002. 158 E. 131 Mainwaring 2003. 163 Drake andHilbink 2003. Helmke 2002..g. Taylor 2006b. Maravall and Przeworski 2003. Bowler. see Brady and Collier 2004 or George and Bennett 2005.. imply that court has 126 Staton 2002.g. 144 Colon 2003. 128 Kapiszewski 2007 represents something of an exception.248. and Skaar 2004. and Hiskey 2005. 2008. Skaar 2002. 3). To organize this understanding of accountability. 130 O'Donnell 1996. Uprimny 2004. Werneck et al." suggesting it represents one of several strategies elected leaders could adopt in order to "shape" a high court. 167 P?rez Perdomo 2006.Helmke 2005. Scribner2004.g. Couso 2002. Huneeus 2006. Caldeira. 141 Fuenzalida Faivovich 2003.. Caldeira and Gibson 1995 and Gibson.. Iaryczower. and Kapiszewski 2007.g.g. Brinks 2005. Domingo 2000 and Chavez 2004a. 278. and Selig son 2006. To their credit. Domingo. Rodriguez.g. 159 E. Rios-Figueroa 2006. Domingo 2005. P?rez Perdomo 2003. Ames.. Shapiro 1981. 2006. and Scribner 2004.g. Helmke 2002. and Peruzzotti and Smulovitz 2006a (which builds on Smulovitz and Peruzzotti 2000 ing andWelna and 2003).. Fletcher 1996. 149 E. but do not necessarily. P?rez-Li??n. and Tom masi 2002. 136 E. 166 Again.Articles I Doing Courts Justice? of view. 1999. the authors in theMainwaring andWelna volume take seriously the task of "defining and delimiting the concept" (Mainwaring 2003.g. Gargarella. Scribner 2004. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions et al. 2008..g. 2002b. 1997. Uprimny. 2004a. 151 Larkins 1998b. Scribner 2004. 7. 162 Stated.. as inKant de Lima 1989. and Skaar 2004 volume. and Tommasi 2002 and 2006. and 2006 (which discusses the "various accountabilities and their inter-relations").. Spiller. 145 E. 139 E. Such decisions may. Scribner 2004. "responsiveness of to the preferences of governmental policies the electorate. in theMain waring andWelna 2003 volume. for instance. 152 E. 5.g.g. 142 P?rez Perdomo 2005. and inDomingo 2005.The edited volumes areMainwar 2003. P?rez Perdomo 2005. 143 E. Dodson and Jackson 2003. for instance. Spiller.g. 132 It is in this sense that the term is used. Hilbink 2007. 164 Epstein 1999. Staton 2002. 5-6) distinguish between account "political accountability" (or "democratic to which refers the ability"). Faro de Castro 1997. Bergoglio 2003. and Skaar 2004. 140 E. Bowler. and Huneeus 2006.. 760 135 E. and Baird 1998) pose just such a link. 138 E. positing that "diffusepublic sup port" may award courts "political capital" that makes itmore difficult to challenge their decisions. 3-4). Some scholars of judicial poli tics in other regions (e.g. Wilson 150 E.. 154 E.g.g. Chavez 2003. Iaryczower. this is not universally true:Miller 2000 and Gargarella 2004 both discuss the personal loyalties and motives ofArgentine Supreme Court justices. Iaryczower. 146 Huneeus 2006. Staats. 161 Gloppen. 157 Herrero 2008 represents an exception. P?rez-Li??n. she engages in an explicit discussion of the term "politicization. Ames." Peruzzotti and Smulovitz also introduce the notion of "social a framework to understand civil accountability. Rios-Figueroa 2006. Halliday Perspectives on Politics This content downloaded from 132. 165 This question has been addressed by local scholars. in Larkins 1998b and Scribner 2004. which "refers to a set of institutionalmechanisms aimed at are ensuring that the actions of public officials legally and constitutionally framed.8 on Wed. and Tommasi 2002. Gargarella. 133 As noted above. See also Kapiszewski 2007 on compliance in the cases ofArgentina and Brazil. and Seligson 2006. 147 For a substantial examination of such techniques. and Roux 2006. 160 We thank an anonymous reviewer for reminding us of these challenges. and Tamanaha 2004. a more power.g. 2005.g..g.g. and Hiskey 2005. 134 E. Sadek 2006. for example." and "legal accountability" (or "constitutional accountability"). O'Donnell 2000. and by extension T?te 2002a. in Shapiro 2005. Gargarella. Helmke 2005. and Garc?a-Villegas 2003. Spiller. Colon 2003. Staton 2004. Beer 2006.2003. 153 E. albeit not in English. 129 E. Harvey 1961.. Gloppen. Rios-Figueroa and Taylor 2006.9. 25. 137 E. 155 E. Staton 2002." and media-based effortstomonitor the society state action generated by the ineffective of legality ness of "intra-state" forms of accountability (2006b... 127 E.g.g. Helmke 2002.. Gargarella. Scribner 2004. 148 E. . L?pez-Ayll?n and Fix-Fierros 2003 data on constitutional amendments and legal change and Skaar s 2002 data on constitutional reforms. Domingo 2004. Peruzzotti and Smulovitz (2006b.

184 P?rez Perdomo 2003. InHandbook of Global Legal Policy. see Oquendo 2006. 180 Arantes 2005. democracy. 188 Yet the gap is smaller thanwe might think. seeHammer gren 2002. Lijphart 1999. Judicial reform and indepen dence in Brazil and Argentina: The beginning of a new millennium? Texas International Law Journal 40: 595-622. 176 E. Diamond 1999. S?o the expansion of of politics in Brazil. Couso 2006. Ministerio P?blico ePol?tica No Brasil. -.. Eisenstadt 2004a.. ed. Brinks. Megan J. justice and the judicialization Ballard. Daniel. and Robert Cooter. The Law and Economics ofDevelopment. Argentina: The effects of democratic institutionalization. Stuart Nagel.g.Oxford: Oxford University Press.Munck and Snyder note that articles about judicial institu -. 173 Kapiszewski 2007 represents an exception.g. 169 For an overview of judicial councils. Caroline C. CT: JAI Press. 174 E. eds. In Legal Cul ture in theAge of Globalization: Latin America and Latin Europe. Wilson and Rodr?guez Cordero 2006. Berkeley Journal of Inter national Law 17 (2): 230-76. Shared Standards. Line Schjolden. and Thomas Ulen.8 on Wed. Rachel Sieder. 178 E. Stanford: Stanford Uni versity Press. 1997. A quanti tative assessment of the efficiencyof the judicial sec tor in Latin America. Barker. 179 E. 4 761 . Barahona De Brito. New York: Marcel Dekker. 182 Gloppen. Arantes.. Brady. South western Journal of Law and Trade in theAmericas on Judicial Review in Latin America) (Symposium 7 (2): 235-46.9. Alexandra. Greenwich. 62. In Enforcing theRule of Law: Social Accountability in theNew Latin Amer ican Democracies^ ed. 2005. Buscaglia. andHilbink 2007 represent important exceptions. 170 Uprimny 2004. 2000. 6/No. and Alan An gell. 2005. tions represent about 1. 187 We thank an anonymous reviewer for suggesting this insight. Jacqueline. Rogerio B. eds. 66. ed. and Skaar 2004. 1997. Enrique Peruzzotti and Catalina Smulovitz. 2006. and economic policy in Brazil. McAllister 2008. Maria In?s. Gargarella. Arantes 2002. Kerche 2003. Buscaglia. Beer 2006.. P?rez Perdomo 2003. Judicial performance and the states. and Paloma Aguilar. Inequality and theRule ofLaw: The Judicial Response toPolice Violence in Latin America. 2006. New York: Cambridge University Press. 183 E. Mozaffar and Schedler 2002. Linz and Stepan 1996. 186 Scribner2004. 2004b. International Review ofLaw and Economics 17: 275-91. 2005.. Mobilization countability: A study of social control in the 'Ca bezas' case inArgentina.g. William Ratliff. Constitutionalism. which it is an edited volume with several hoped will generate on Latin America chapters addressing precisely this question. 2000. prosecutors. References Work in our survey group appears in bold. 185 Although it lies outside the temporal scope of this essay and examines areas in addition to Latin America. 172 E. Courtis 2006.while work on the executive and legislative branches together represents 6. ombudsmen. eds. Pittsburgh: University of Pitts burgh Press. Edgardo. for an examination of judicial reform -. 9). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Edgardo. Beer.. 2008.g. Taylor 2006b.6% (2007. and ac Behrend. Bergoglio. Fuenzalida Faivovich 2003.g. 2001. Carmen Gonzalez Enriquez. 181 Wilson 2005. Latin American rule of law in theMexican Politics & Society 48: 33-61. Ames. see Castilho and Sadek 1998. Henry. 175 For a useful primer on law in the region. in the region that includes an analysis of the role of police.168 Garro 2000.Helmke 2005. 199. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.9% of all published work in the comparative politics subfield. and David Collier. December This content downloaded from 132. a robust discussion (rooted in compara tive law) of the effectsof judicial review on democ racy can be found in Schor 2008. and other seeHammergren important supporting actors. 2004. ed. The judiciary. 2002. 21 Oct 2015 04:56:07 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 2008 jVol. Paulo: EDUC. Judicial review in Costa Rica: Evolution and recent developments. Sadek and Cavalcanti 2003. 171 E. 2003. Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools. In The Judicialization ofPolitics in Latin America.248. and Uprimny 177 The Center for the Study of Law and Society at UC Berkeley is currently running a Sawyer Semi nar on theDilemmas of Judicial Power. 2005. 2006. Robert S. 2007. The Politics Memory: Transitional Justice inDemocratizing Soci of eties.g. and Seligson 2006. 1999. P?rez-Li??n. Lawrence Friedman and Rogelio P?rez Perdomo.. The clash between local courts and global economics: The politics of judi cial reform in Brazil.g.

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