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  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Alexander Stroh, Cordula Tibi Weber, Charlotte Heyl
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under-researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third-wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Power Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, Latin America, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Philip Kitzberger
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of government strategies vis-à-vis dominant media actors in the Latin American context, where the media's role in democratic politics is increasingly being questioned. It compares the first two Kirchnerist presidencies in Argentina with the first two Workers' Party-led governments in Brazil. While these governments initially adopted accommodation strategies towards media organisations, political crises subsequently disturbed the fragile coexistence of media and government, triggering divergent strategic responses that require explanation. Using accounts relying on ideological preferences, the study establishes the importance of environmental factors and critical junctures as determinants of governments' strategic options. Significant differences in the institutional configurations and articulations of media interests in the two countries are found to be relevant. However, the study shows that such constraints do not tell the whole story. Consequently, the analysis also focuses on how certain junctures affect government perceptions of media power and, in turn, inform governments' strategic stances.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Magna Inácio
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the evolution of the institutional presidency – meaning the cluster of agencies that directly support the chief of the executive – in Argentina and Brazil since their redemocratization in the 1980s. It investigates what explains the changes that have come about regarding the size of the institutional presidency and the types of agency that form it. Following the specialized literature, we argue that the growth of the institutional presidency is connected to developments occurring in the larger political system – that is, to the political challenges that the various presidents of the two countries have faced. Presidents adjust the format and mandate of the different agencies under their authority so as to better manage their relations with the political environment. In particular, we argue that the type of government (coalition or single-party) has had consequences for the structure of the presidency or, in other words, that different cabinet structures pose different challenges to presidents. This factor has not played a significant role in presidency-related studies until now, which have hitherto mostly been based on the case of the United States. Our empirical references, the presidencies of Argentina and Brazil, and typical cases of coalitional as well as single-party presidentialism respectively all allow us to show the impact of the type of government on the number and type of presidential agencies.
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Argentina
  • Author: Christian von Soest, Karsten Bechle, Nina Korte
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Neopatrimonialism is a concept that has predominately been applied to describe governance in sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, though, it has also been used to describe states from other world regions. However, scholars have rarely attempted to systematically compare neopatrimonial rule in different regional settings. This paper aims to narrow this gap by examining the effect of neopatrimonialism on the tax administration as a core state function in six countries from three different world regions: Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya and Zambia. We conclude that neopatrimonialism is a valuable concept for comparative area studies with the potential to foster dialogue on the "state in operation" across the regional divide. However, several indicators are more valid for some world regions than for others. We find that there is no systematic relationship between neopatrimonial trajectories and the strength of tax administration. Individual actor decisions influence the outcomes of neopatrimonialism substantially.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Indonesia, Asia, Argentina, Philippines, Latin America, Venezuela, Zambia
  • Author: Philip Kitzberger
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Has Latin America's left turn mattered in media politics? Does ideology impact governments' practices and policies regarding media and journalistic institutions? Through an empirical assessment of discourses on the media, of direct-communication practices, and of media regulation policies on the part of the recent leftist governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela, this paper stresses the existence of a specific media activism on the part of leftist governments in Latin America. While showing that the current binary distinctions that stress the existence of two lefts—“populist” and “nonpopulist”—obscure important commonalities and continuities, the author also demonstrates that it is the existence of certain institutional and structural constraints that best accounts for the differences among the various leftist governments in Latin America. In sum, the paper challenges the prevailing neglect of ideology as a relevant factor in explaining developments in government–media relationships in the region.
  • Topic: Politics, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Latin America, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Constanza Figueroa Schibber
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Este trabajo intenta evaluar en que medida el Senado argentino cumplio su papel consti-tucional de contralor del Poder Ejecutivo en torno a los nombramientos del poder judicial entre 1983 y 2007, como tambien los factores que afectaron el cumplimiento de este rol. Para ello, se analiza el tramite parlamentario de los pliegos girados por el Ejecutivo para el nombramiento de todos los jueces federales, los pertenecientes a la llamada "Justicia Na-cional" de la Capital Federal y los miembros del Ministerio Publico. A partir de los mis-mos se concluye que los poderes del Senado dependen de varios factores, a saber, los re-cursos institucionales de los presidentes al interior de esta camara (medidos no solo a par¬tir de las mayorias legislativas sino tambien de su poder en la Comision de Acuerdos), la categoria del cargo a ser ocupado (si se trata de miembros de la Corte Suprema o de otros tribunales), las ambiciones presidenciales en otras areas de politica (como la reeleccion al cargo) y las reglas que regulan la selection y confirmation de candidatos (como el secreto o la publicidad del tramite legislativo).
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Jorge Gordin
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper builds on institutional analysis to generate new conclusions about the economic viability of federalism. It does so by suggesting that Weingast´s seminal model of marketpreserving federalism falls short of accounting for the poor fiscal performance of multitiered systems in the developing world. This theoretical deficiency stems to a large extent from the insufficient attention paid by this model to the institutional complexity of federal systems, particularly the public policy effects of legislative malapportionment. Subsequent to an analytical discussion of the potential public spending and distributive politics distortions resulting from overrepresentation, we offer preliminary empirical evidence from Argentina, a federation exhibiting one of the most decentralized fiscal systems in the world and severe imbalances in the territorial distribution of legislative and economic resources. The findings show not only that said imbalances lead to sub‐optimal fiscal results but also that they have a mutually‐reinforcing relationship with regionalized patronage.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Argentina, South America
  • Author: Mariana Llanos, Leany Lemos
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Though an important function of the Latin American senates, the confirmation of presidential nominations has drawn little academic attention. This paper assesses empirically the way in which two Latin American upper chambers – the Argentine and Brazilian senates – made use of their confirmation prerogatives between 1989 and 2003, namely, if one of deference to the executive proposals or a more active role including both consultation and oversight. To do this, the article first analyses all nominations regarding outcome (confirmed, rejected and withdrawn) and length of process. Then, the similarities and differences are used to advance some explanatory hypotheses. Special attention is paid to the impact of political factors, mainly divided government, and institutional features, mainly the senates' internal rules for the organization of the legislative work.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Ruth Fuchs
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: El presente trabajo analiza, desde una perspectiva comparada, las percepciones de las elites parlamentarias de los países miembros del MERCOSUR respecto a las Fuerzas Armadas y a cuestiones de seguridad y defensa. Ante la creciente cooperación en materia de seguridad, se indaga en el plano de los valores y convicciones de las elites políticas para buscar indicios relacionados con el desarrollo de una comunidad regional de seguridad en el sur de América Latina. A partir de los resultados de dos proyectos de investigación empírica sobre los sectores parlamentarios, el artículo identifica semejanzas y discrepancias entre las percepciones de los diputados y senadores de Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay, y discute las posibles consecuencias con miras a una profundización de la cooperación en materia de seguridad.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Latin America, Chile, Paraguay