Inequality, Institutions, and the Rule of Law: The social and institutional bases of rights.

Date

2008-08

Authors

Brinks, Daniel M

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Publisher

Kellogg Institute

Abstract

This article elaborates and tests a theory connecting the high levels of inequality in many Latin American states to the failure to develop mechanisms to effectively protect and enforce formal rights enshrined in constitutions and laws. I argue that, in order to become effective, rights require the development of a network of ancillary supporting institutions, both formal and informal. Both engaging with these supporting institutions and developing them in the first place requires resources which many marginalized groups simply do not have. I apply the theory to data on the prosecution of police violence, as well as to a more general overview of legal and constitutional developments in the region.

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Citation

Brinks, Daniel M. “Inequality, Institutions, and the Rule of Law: The social and institutional bases of rights.” 2008. Working paper, Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies Working Paper Series.