Democratic Institutions under Stress

Democracy builds on common principles such as elections, division of power, and rule of law. In practice, democratic institutions often underperform due to executives overstepping powers, conflicts and power struggles causing stalemate in the policy process, and rule instability.


  • Democratization | 2022

    Contested, Violated but Persistent: Presidential Term Limits in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa: Introduction to Special Issue

    The term limits of presidents as a crucial institutional feature to safeguard democracy have often been contested by incumbents. The authors of this article argue that bringing together knowledge on Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa provides new empirical and theoretical insights.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Democratization | 2022

    Sequences of Presidential-Term-Limit Reforms: Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa

    In this article the authors take a longitudinal view on presidential-term-limit reforms in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa since the third wave of democratization. Many countries (re)introduced the measure as a democratic safeguard against abuse of power; since then, it has been repeatedly challenged.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Online Workshop | 02/12/2021 - 03/12/2021

    RedGob Workshop: Latin American Democracies in Crisis. Causes, Processes, and Remedies

    This workshop, organised by the GIGA, brings together renowned European and Latin American scholars from the Red Euro-Latinoamericana de Gobernabilidad para el Desarrollo to discuss and present their most recent research on the state of democratic institutions in Latin America. Los debates serán en inglés, español y portugués.

    GIGA Focus Lateinamerika | 4/2021

    The Political Limits of Presidential Impeachment: Lessons from Latin America

    In presidential democracies, impeachment proceedings are an important mechanism for controlling executive powers. GIGA expert Prof. Mariana Llanos and Prof. Leiv Marsteintredet show in the GIGA Focus that impeachment proceedings can, however, also open the door to party-political interests and opportunism.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Prof. Dr. Leiv Marsteintredet

    Research Project | 01/05/2021 - 30/04/2026

    Democratic Institutions in the Global South

    This project contributes new knowledge on the functioning of democratic institutions in the Global South, their (in)efficacy to constrain powerful executives, and the effects of particular institutions on both democratic quality and regime stability. The focus is on countries with presidential constitutions, i.e., those with directly elected presidents, an institutional choice that extended worldwide in the last decades.
    Leibniz Competition, 2021-2026

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    GIGA Working Papers | 07/2020

    Beyond Justices The Legal Culture of Judges in Mexico

    Do judges consider themselves political actors having a legislative role? To advance our understanding of the key determinants of judicial behavior, the author uses a survey with federal judges in Mexico to explore to what extent judges adhere to a positivist or a principle‐based constitutionalist legal culture.

    Azul Aguiar Aguilar

    Visiting Fellow

    Asian Survey | 2021

    Coalitions during Transition: The Downfall of Pakatan Harapan in Malaysia

    The papers deal with the difficult transition in Malaysia after the 2018 elections. Since the defeat of the National Front coalition in 2018, politics in Malaysia is characterized by shifting coalitions and political instability. It is now unclear whether the political system is moving towards a form of electoral democracy.

    Dr. Andreas Ufen

    Senior Research Fellow / Speaker Research Team

    Revista Uruguaya de Ciencia Política | 06/2020

    Cortes Superiores y redes sociales en América Latina

    Twitter, Facebook y YouTube— por parte de 17 cortes constitucionales y supremas de América Latina durante el lapso de un año. Exploramos de manera preliminar la relación entre el nivel de confianza en los poderes judiciales y la intensidad del uso e influencia de las cortes en las redes.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Dr. Cordula Tibi Weber

    Research Fellow


    Research Project | 01/05/2021 - 30/04/2026

    Democratic Institutions in the Global South

    This project contributes new knowledge on the functioning of democratic institutions in the Global South, their (in)efficacy to constrain powerful executives, and the effects of particular institutions on both democratic quality and regime stability. The focus is on countries with presidential constitutions, i.e., those with directly elected presidents, an institutional choice that extended worldwide in the last decades.
    Leibniz Competition, 2021-2026

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Democratization | 2022

    Contested, Violated but Persistent: Presidential Term Limits in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa: Introduction to Special Issue

    The term limits of presidents as a crucial institutional feature to safeguard democracy have often been contested by incumbents. The authors of this article argue that bringing together knowledge on Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa provides new empirical and theoretical insights.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Democratization | 2022

    Sequences of Presidential-Term-Limit Reforms: Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa

    In this article the authors take a longitudinal view on presidential-term-limit reforms in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa since the third wave of democratization. Many countries (re)introduced the measure as a democratic safeguard against abuse of power; since then, it has been repeatedly challenged.

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    Online Workshop | 02/12/2021 - 03/12/2021

    RedGob Workshop: Latin American Democracies in Crisis. Causes, Processes, and Remedies

    This workshop, organised by the GIGA, brings together renowned European and Latin American scholars from the Red Euro-Latinoamericana de Gobernabilidad para el Desarrollo to discuss and present their most recent research on the state of democratic institutions in Latin America. Los debates serán en inglés, español y portugués.

    Cooperation Event | 30/11/2017 - 01/12/2017

    The Sustainability of Democracy in the Trump Era

    The Red Euro-Latinoamericana de Gobernabilidad para el Desarrollo is a network of renowned European and Latin American research institutions which aims to generate a space for the exchange of knowledge on the subjects of governability, public policy, institutional reform and development.

    Zenith Magazin | Article | 23/11/2021

    Militärcoup im Sudan: Warum das Militär im Sudan so viel Macht hat

    Hager Ali

    Doctoral Researcher

    Deutsche Welle | Quote | 04/10/2021

    Pandora Papers belasten die politische Klasse in Lateinamerika

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

    Lead Research Fellow / General Editor GIGA Focus Editor GIGA Focus Global

    Estadão | Quote | 12/07/2021

    Quem “merece” um impeachment?

    Prof. Dr. Mariana Llanos

    Lead Research Fellow / Head of RP 1

    02/12/2021 - 03/12/2021

    Latin American Democracies in Crisis

    Workshop 02/12/2021 - 03/12/2021

    RedGob Workshop: Latin American Democracies in Crisis. Causes, Processes, and Remedies

    15/11/2021

    COVID-19 and Executive Personalization in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the MENA Region

    Conference 15/11/2021

    12/11/2021

    10 Jahre Arabischer Frühling: Lesung und Gespräch mit Franz Maget

    Conference 12/11/2021

    Moderation of Book Presentation with author and politician Franz Maget, with presentation and discussion on electoral reforms in Tunisia, the role of women in Tunisian politics, and decentralization

    Notification

    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us