REGIME, GOVERNMENT AND CONSTITUTIONAL CRISES: THE ROLE OF RULE OF LAW AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN LATIN AMERICA
Mello, Fernando Barros de
After the third wave of democratization (Huntington, 1991) there are different moments of crises in different countries throughout the region. Since the end of the 1980s, governments were the focus of popular protests, political complots and/or lost the support of key political actors (eg: Brazil, 1992; Peru, 1992; Argentina, 2001, Venezuela, 2002). These cases are commonly referred as political crises, even if different outcomes were produced: impeachment, resignations, self-coups or military coups, among others. I present a new typology for political crises, differentiating regime, constitutional and government crises. Based on an analysis using cross-national data (World Governance Indicators), I argue that citizens’ perception of rule of law and accountability play a significant role in these crises, and each variable is more relevant for different types of crises. I conclude with an analysis of Brazil, examining three different cases of crisis since the transition to democracy: Collor, 1992; Mensalão, 2005; and Petrolão, 2015.
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