Authoritarian Constitutionalism in Latin America: from Past to Present

This chapter examines the influence of authoritarian constitutionalism in Latin America. Mainly focused on the “founding period” of regional constitutionalism (1850-1880), the paper claims that, in spite of the fact that authoritarian constitutional lacks today most of the influence that it used to have, it continues to represent a powerful force within regional constitutionalism. The author suggests that the vast majority of Latin American Constitutions continue to organize their “structure of powers” according to an imperfect and unstable liberal-conservative model; and also that this flawed structure allows a recurrent re-emergence and occasional re-invigoration of authoritarian impulses within regional constitutionalism.