Research Team 2: Law and Politics
The Law and Politics research field is a well-established subarea of political science. Pertinent studies have dealt with the boundaries which legal regulations set for the behaviour of government representatives and organisations (constitutional debate aspects) or with the influence of political actors, institutions and processes on legislation (judicial policy aspects). So far the relevant research has mainly focused on the regions of Europe and North America. The number of studies on non-OECD countries has also risen recently, though on a very unequal basis. While there has been a great deal of research on Latin America since the beginning of the “third wave of democratisation”, which resulted in numerous judicial- and constitutional-reform processes, Africa, Asia and the Middle East are still neglected, even though this topic is of great importance in understanding democratisation processes in those regions.
The RT therefore has two main objectives: On the one hand, a contribution to relevant research activity in those regions which have to date been heavily neglected. On the other hand, the (further) development of appropriate research methods, which are essential for research on Law and Politics from a cross-regional comparative perspective.
The relevant research questions, analysed in the context of RT 2, are as follows:
- How much power do courts have within a political system? Has there been an increase in the power of courts following democratisation processes?
- Do courts have the ability to control the executive branch? How independent are courts – in democratic as well as in authoritarian regimes?
- Which actors are involved in constitutional amendment processes? How are constitutional amendment processes related to their political context (for example, in the context of regional administrations)?
- What influence do constitutional reforms have on the political system?
- What influence do legislative standards have on the implementation of consultation procedures with indigenous communities in Latin America?
- What are the effects of the privatisation of security on human rights, the anchoring of the rule of law, and democracy in general?
Theoretical and Methodical Approaches
- Separation of powers theories
- Cross-regional comparison
- Qualitative and quantitative methods
Current Research Projects
- Constitutional amendment in Latin America (Nolte)
- Judicial (In)dependence in New Democracies. Courts, Presidents and Legislatures in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa (Llanos, Stroh)
- The Effects of Decentralization on the Democratic Deepening Process in Bolivia (Buitrago)
- Reforms of indigenous legislative systems in favour of augmented juridical security of indigenous women in the countries of the Andes (Barrera)
- A systematic comparison of consultations with indigenous communities in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador (Schilling-Vacaflor)
- Private Security in Guatemala: explanatory factors and effects on Democracy
Members of RT 2
- Argueta, Otto (ILAS, doctoral student)
- Barrera, Anna (ILAS, doctoral student)
- Buitrago, Miguel A. (ILAS, doctoral student)
- Bünte, Marco (IAS)
- Heyl, Charlotte (IAA)
- Flemmer, Riccarda (ILAS, doctoral student)
- Llanos, Mariana (ILAS, team spokesperson)
- Nolte, Detlef (ILAS)
- Schilling-Vacaflor, Almut (ILAS)
- v. Soest, Christian (IAA)
- Stroh, Alexander (IAA)
- Cordula Tibi Weber (ILAS)