The Politics of Domination: Law and Resistance in Authoritarian States
School for International Studies
October 30, 2010
in THE STRUGGLE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL POWER: LAW, POLITICS, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN EGYPT, Cambridge University Press, 2007
A series of empirical examples suggest that entrenched authoritarian regimes are motivated to strengthen judicial institutions in order to: 1) attract investment, 2) strengthen bureaucratic discipline, 3) institutionalize pacts within ruling coalitions, 4) implement controversial reforms, and 5) bolster claims to procedural legitimacy in lieu of democratic openings. Judicial institutions help regimes to consolidate power in these specific ways, but they simultaneously open new avenues for activists to challenge the state. Not all regimes choose judicial strategies to institutionalize their rule, but to the extent that they do, they inadvertently create a unique field of contention within the authoritarian state. The result is a “judicialization of authoritarian politics,” bearing striking parallels to the judicialization of politics in democratic polities, as well as its own distinct dynamics.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Judicialization, Judicial Politics, Authoritarian Regimes, Property Rights, Principal Agent Problem
Date posted: February 18, 2010 ; Last revised: October 31, 2010
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