Wednesday, February 12, 2020
5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street
Analysts and policymakers often decry the failure of institutions to accomplish their purpose. Bringing together leading scholars of Latin American politics, this volume helps us understand why. The volume offers a conceptual and theoretical framework for studying weak institutions. It introduces different dimensions of institutional weakness and explores the origins and consequences of that weakness. Drawing on recent research on constitutional and electoral reform, executive-legislative relations, property rights, environmental and labor regulation, indigenous rights, squatters and street venders, and anti-domestic violence laws in Latin America, we provide a new typology of institutional weakness and associate different political dynamics to its distinct categories. Hence, we seek to improve our understanding of why politicians often design institutions that they cannot or do not want to enforce or comply with. Challenging existing theories of institutional design, the volume helps us understand the logic that drives the creation of weak institutions, as well as the conditions under which they may be transformed into institutions that matter.