Transformative Constitutionalism: Evaluating Constitutional Strategies to Materialize Social Justice in Latin America

Transformative constitutionalism has captured the imagination of progressive scholars throughout Latin America, due to its promise to bridge the gap between socio-economic justice and constitutionalism, a gap that has been particularly large in this region (where constitutionalism has traditionally lived side-by-side with gross economic inequality). The very sustainability of democratic constitutionalism is at risk –due precisely to the inequalities that the contemporary global economic order promotes within most countries—, the notion of a constitutional theory and practice that addresses the latter is attractive. The question of how, exactly, can constitutionalism contribute to the transformation of the economic structures that condemns large segments of society to an unequal access to the benefits of growth, remains polemical. I'll explore different attempts currently in display in Latin America that aim to materialize the ideals of a transformative constitutionalism.