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Judicial Reform as Political Insurance
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summary
During the 1990s, judicial reform swept Latin America. While some of the region's supreme courts have been able to exercise increased power as a result of these reforms, others have not. Why do some instances of judicial reform appear to be leading to the development of a powerful judiciary while others have failed to do so? In this careful analysis, Jodi S. Finkel investigates judicial reform in Argentina, Mexico, and Peru. She suggests that while ruling parties can be induced to initiate judicial reforms by introducing constitutional revisions, they often prove unwilling to implement these constitutional changes by enacting required legislation. To understand the outcomes of judicial reform, as well as to predict where reforms are likely to empower courts, it is necessary to examine the political incentives faced by politicians at the implementation phase. Finkel argues that the implementation of judicial reform may serve the ruling party as an insurance policy, in that a strong judicial branch reduces the risks faced by a ruling party once it loses power and becomes the opposition. Finkel suggests that as the ruling party's probability of reelection declines, the likelihood of the enactment of reforms resulting in an empowered judiciary increases.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction. Latin America and Judicial Reform: Why Would Politicians Enact Institutional Reforms That Appear to Limit Their Own Political Power?
  2. pp. 1-20
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  1. Chapter One: Explaining Latin America’s Recent Judicial Reforms
  2. pp. 21-38
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  1. Chapter Two: Judicial Reform in Argentina in the 1990s
  2. pp. 39-62
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  1. Chapter Three: Judicial Reform in Peru in the 1990s
  2. pp. 63-88
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  1. Chapter Four: Judicial Reform in Mexico in the 1990s
  2. pp. 89-110
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  1. Chapter Five: The Paradox of Latin America’s Judicial Reforms: Lessons Learned
  2. pp. 111-118
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 119-138
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 139-152
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 153-157
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