Weak Rule of Law as the Primary Cause of Lower-Quality Latin American Democracies


Drawing on a deep tradition of rule of law literature, spanning from Aristotle to O’Donnell, this thesis argues that the main problem in modern Latin America is a weak rule of law evidenced by ineffective judicial systems unable to sustain vertical and horizontal accountability. A broad analysis of the necessary characteristics and conditions for democratic rule of law leads to mid-range theory on the application of these characteristics in combination with the unique challenges facing modern day Latin America. A case study of Peru examining crime rates and court systems supports gives evidence to the paramount importance of rule of law and its lack thereof within the state and the region as a whole. This lack of strong rule of law gives rise to a host of other current issues and undermines democratic institutions lowering the quality of democracy.



Rule of Law, Latin American Politics, Peru