Synopses & Reviews
It challenges long standing accepted wisdom about dictatorship and institutions.
"Barros provides careful insight into the thinking and decision-making processes of the Chilean military government from 1973 to 1989..... A valuable addition to Latin American collections of theory on democracy and dictatorship. Highly recommended." Choice"There is an immense amount of work in this account...The author showed great determination in tracking down the previously unobtainable documents...He also demonstrates the real significance of legal arguments in shaping the institutionality of the new regime...this is a highly impressive work not simply for the case of Chile but for the analysis of authoritarian regimes more generally." Bulletin of Latin American Research
It is widely believed that autocratic regimes cannot limit their power through institutions of their own making. This book presents a surprising challenge to this view. It demonstrates that the Chilean armed forces were constrained by institutions of their own design. Based on extensive documentation of military decision-making, much of it long classified and unavailable, this book reconstructs the politics of institutions within the recent Chilean dictatorship (1973-1990).
Table of Contents
1. Dictatorship, legality, and institutional constraints; 2. The Constitution of the Exception: defining the rules of military rule; 3. The constitution and the Dictatorship: The Supreme Court and the constitutionality of decree-laws; 4. The shadowy boundary between force and law: the judiciary, repression, and the cosmetic limitation of emergency powers; 5. Constitutionalization without transition: prompting the dual constitution of 1980; 6. The permanent text: constitutional controls or military tutelage?; 7. Even custom shoes bind: military rule under the constitution, 1981-1988; 8. Military dictatorship and constitutionalism in Chile.