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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Constitutionalism and Dictatorship: Pinochet, the Junta, and the 1980 Constitution

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Robert BarrosUniversidad Mayor de 'San Andres', Argentina

ISBN13: 9780521792189
ISBN: 0521792185
Published: June 2002
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £79.99



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It is widely believed that autocratic regimes cannot limit their power through institutions of their own making. This book presents a surprising challenge to this view. It demonstrates that the Chilean armed forces were constrained by institutions of their own design. Based on extensive documentation of military decision-making, much of it long classified and unavailable, this book reconstructs the politics of institutions within the recent Chilean dictatorship (1973-1990). It examines the structuring of institutions at the apex of the military junta, the relationship of military rule with the prior constitution, the intra-military conflicts that led to the promulgation of the 1980 constitution, the logic of institutions contained in the new constitution, and how the constitution constrained the military junta after it went into force in 1981. This provocative account reveals the standard account of the dictatorship as a personalist regime with power concentrated in Pinochet to be grossly inaccurate.

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Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , Latin America
Contents:
1. Dictatorship, legality, and institutional constraints
2. The Constitution of the Exception: defining the rules of military rule
3. The constitution and the Dictatorship: The Supreme Court and the constitutionality of decree-laws
4. The shadowy boundary between force and law: the judiciary, repression, and the cosmetic limitation of emergency powers
5. Constitutionalization without transition: prompting the dual constitution of 1980
6. The permanent text: constitutional controls or military tutelage?
7. Even custom shoes bind: military rule under the constitution, 1981-1988
8. Military dictatorship and constitutionalism in Chile.