WG Law and Politics

This working group is concerned to analyze the way in which law and politics interact in nations with incipient democratic regimes like most Latin American countries do. These political systems are formally defined as democratic although their social, political and institutional practices correspond to old authoritarian regimes. Starting from the assumption that democracy in Latin America is a building-up process, we analyze the way in which politics and law question one another. 

We are especially interested in discussing the way law has turned into a central element for the strategic calculations of some politicians, which shows a dramatic change in the structure of power of Latin American States.

We understand that in order to be under a real rule of law, it is necessary for judicial power to have relative autonomy and laws to be the result of agreements among political forces which represent society. It is also required the political actors to be respectful of the legitimate laws. These are the basic conditions needed for the development of a democratic political system.

We think it is essential to analyze the context which makes the existence and consolidation of the rule of law possible, because appealing to law is not necessarily a guarantee of democracy.

There is also, as Habermas defines it, an authoritarian legalism in some practices of the political power, which despite the fact of being legal, they are not legitimate.

Angélica Cuellar Vázquez, UNAM, México

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