Constitutional change : the frequent attempt of new beginnings in Latin America




Avila Ordoñez, Maria Paz

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Latin American countries have experienced frequent processes of constitutional change. Just in the first century of independence, constitutions of Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Peru were rewritten at least ten times. After the third wave of democratization, almost all countries in the region drastically amended or replaced their constitutions, and some, such as Venezuela and Ecuador, had done so more than once. By selecting two cases of study in the region (Argentina - Ecuador), this paper explores what are the factors that might explain constitutional replacements. Overall, this paper argues that high rates of constitutional replacement in the region can be attributed to their institutional origins. Constitutions are often created in environments generally unstable, under rapidly changing coalitions of power, non-inclusive constitution-making processes, where institutions are often used as “weapons” against the opposing political forces. These conditions under which constitutions are created can make them either resistant or vulnerable to rapid replacement



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