Mariana Llanos / Cordula Tibi Weber / Charlotte Heyl / Alexander Stroh

Informal Interference in the Judiciary in New Democracies: A Comparison of Six African and Latin American Cases

GIGA Working Paper, No. 245, April 2014

Abstract
This paper assesses the extent to which elected power holders informally intervene in the judiciaries of new democracies, an acknowledged but under‐researched topic in studies of judicial politics. The paper first develops an empirical strategy for the study of informal interference based on perceptions recorded in interviews, then applies the strategy to six third‐wave democracies, three in Africa (Benin, Madagascar and Senegal) and three in Latin America (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). It also examines how three conditioning factors affect the level of informal judicial interference: formal rules, previous democratic experience, and socioeconomic development. Our results show that countries with better performance in all these conditioning factors exhibit less informal interference than countries with poorer or mixed performance. The results stress the importance of systematically including informal politics in the study of judicial politics.

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GIGA Authors

Dr. Mariana Llanos

Lead Research Fellow
Head of RP 1

Dr. Mariana Llanos is a lead research fellow at the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies and Head of the GIGA Research Programme 1 “Accountability and Participation.” Her research focuses on the area of comparative political institutions, particularly presidentialism, presidential studies, and judicial politics.

Cordula Tibi Weber

Research Fellow / Doctoral Student

Cordula Tibi Weber is a political scientist and a research fellow at the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies.

Dr. Charlotte Heyl

Research Fellow
Speaker Research Team

Dr. Charlotte Heyl is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs. She is also spokesperson for the GIGA Research Team “Democratic Institutions”. Her research focuses on democratisation, elections, judicial politics, and presidentialism in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Stroh is a political scientist, an assistant professor of African politics and development policy at the University of Bayreuth, and an associate at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs.

Recent Publications by the Authors

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Presidential Pathways and Profiles

in: Ruby B. Andeweg / Robert Elgie / Ludger Helms / Juliet Kaarb / Ferdinand Muller-Rommel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Executives, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming July 2020

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Cortes Superiores y redes sociales en América Latina

Revista Uruguaya de Ciencia Política, 29, 2020, 1, 15-48

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Oversight or Representation? Public Opinion and Impeachment Resolutions in Argentina and Brazil

Legislative Studies Quarterly, online first, 2020

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GIGA Focus Latin America, 03/2020

Mariana Llanos / Marisa von Bülow

Brasil: os limites e perigos de um presidente polarizador

El País, 2020