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Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship
Lessons from Chile

$52.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Date Published: May 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107402362

$ 52.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • A longitudinal case study of Chile that assesses competing hypotheses regarding judicial behavior in both democratic and undemocratic contexts, this book explores the relevance of regime-related factors, judges' personal policy preferences, social class, and legal philosophy, but argues that institutional features grounded in the ideal of "apoliticism" best explain the persistent failure of Chilean judges to take stands in defense of rights and rule of law principles, before, during, and after the authoritarian interlude. Dr. Hilbink offers comparative examples to support broader theoretical claims about when judges will be willing and able to assert their independence against abuses of public power.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "...The book's content nicely reflects the decade of research the author devoted to the project. It provides an historically rich yet accessible account of the Chilean judiciary's role in politics across two centuries, derived from careful archival work and more than one hundred interviews with scholars, justice ministers and judges. JUDGES BEYOND POLITICS can be used effectively in both undergraduate and graduate courses on law and politics, Latin American politics, or political institutions....JUDGES BEYOND POLITICS represents an excellent contribution to the literature on comparative judicial politics. The argument is highly plausible, and Hilbink's efforts to rule out alternative explanations are extremely persuasive. This is clearly a must read for anyone in judicial politics who focuses on Latin America."
    --Jeffrey K. Staton, Emory University, Law and Politics Book Review

    "...Hilbink, a political scientist, enriches the sparse literature in this area of scholarship with her meticulously researched work....Judges sheds light on a variety of critical questions at the intersection of democratic theory, law, and political science;....clarity and comprehensiveness of her research is impressive..."
    --The yale Journal of International Law

    "...this book adds a new element to this frequently studied period of Chilean history. Hilbink makes a convincing case for the need to look at institutional dynamics in understanding judicial behavior and identities. It will be of interest to both political scientists and historians for its contributions to the study of the dynamics between law, high politics, and civil society."
    --Vanessa Walker, H-Human-Rights, H-Net Reviews; December, 2008

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107402362
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. The judiciary, the rule of law, and democracy: aspirations and impediments
    2. The institutional construction and the judicial role in Chile
    3. Conservative activism in the heyday of democracy, 1964 to 1973
    4. Legitimizing authoritarianism, 1973 to 1990
    5. Continuity and change after the return of democracy, 1990 to 2000
    6. Conclusions and implications
    Appendixes.

  • Author

    Lisa Hilbink, University of Minnesota

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