Constitutionalism and Dictatorship: Pinochet, the Junta, and by Robert Barros

By Robert Barros

It's generally believed that autocratic regimes can't restrict their energy via associations in their personal making. This publication provides a shocking problem to this view. It demonstrates that the Chilean militia have been restricted by way of associations in their personal layout. in accordance with huge documentation of army decision-making, a lot of it lengthy categorised and unavailable, this e-book reconstructs the politics of associations in the fresh Chilean dictatorship (1973–1990). It examines the structuring of associations on the apex of the army junta, the connection of army rule with the past structure, the intra-military conflicts that resulted in the promulgation of the 1980 structure, the common sense of associations inside the new structure, and the way the structure limited the army junta after it went into strength in 1981. This provocative account finds the traditional account of the dictatorship as a personalist regime with strength centred in Pinochet to be grossly faulty.

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

It truly is largely believed that autocratic regimes can't restrict their energy via associations in their personal making. This publication offers a shocking problem to this view. It demonstrates that the Chilean military have been limited by way of associations in their personal layout. in accordance with wide documentation of army decision-making, a lot of it lengthy categorised and unavailable, this ebook reconstructs the politics of associations in the fresh Chilean dictatorship (1973–1990).

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Additional resources for Constitutionalism and Dictatorship: Pinochet, the Junta, and the 1980 Constitution

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The doctrine does not specify any requirements regarding how laws are made or the purposes that they serve and is wholly compatible with systems in which lawmakers themselves are not subject to law. 20 This type of rule of law, which we may refer to as rule by law to avoid confusion with constitutionalist rule of law, can be in the interest of autocratic rulers insofar as it provides mechanisms to assure that central dictates are being correctly enforced. For example, a formally independent judiciary not only can allow a ruler to deflect resentment and avoid responsibility for imposing punishments, if accompanied by a system of appeals reaching the highest levels, it can also provide central authorities with an independent flow of information about how lower-level authorities are implementing the law, while also allowing it to use appellate decisions to impose desired interpretations of the law (Shapiro 1981, 53–56).

However, as just discussed, rule by law does not dissolve absolute power, and all of the restrictions that Holmes discusses similarly leave the sovereign position of the ruler intact. Holmes seems to be aware of this problem, as he often notes that these limits are prudential and informal. Nevertheless, he (1995, 109, 111, 112, 118) repeatedly presents them in 27 Constitutionalism and Dictatorship terms of an opposition between “limited” and “unlimited” power or rule, suggesting that such constraint resolves the incompatibility posed by Hobbes, when in fact the forms of prudential self-restraint he refers to are limited only in reference to the sovereign’s freedom to rule capriciously, not her position as supreme authority within the legal system.

Why is this so? Because, “To influence a situation, an actual power-wielder must adapt himself to preexistent patterns of force and unevenly distributed possibilities for change. The influencer must be influenced: that is a central axiom of any realistic theory of power” (1988, 222). In other words, sovereigns are limited by what I have called political and material constraints. In the same essay and elsewhere, Holmes discusses Bodin’s recommendation to sovereigns to desist from arbitrary rule, emphasizing how such restraint actually increases a king’s power because it permits him to mobilize cooperation and avoid antagonizing subjects who might destabilize his authority (1995, 109–20).

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