Protecting Rights or Hindering Political Participation? Constitutional Rigidity and the Crisis of Representation in Consolidated Democracies

The purpose of this article is to refute one of the most important arguments of liberal theory: that rigid constitutions produce positive effects on democracies. As opposed to liberal theory, this article proposes the following hypotheses: (1) that constitutional rigidity has a positive effect on electoral competition; but, (2) also a negative impact on political participation. Additionally, (3) the imbalance between electoral competition and political participation, as an effect of constitutional rigidity, produces a crisis of political representation. In order to asses these hypotheses, this study will be focused on the experience of post authoritarian Chile.