Ideational Origins of Progressive Judicial Activism: The Colombian Constitutional Court and the Right to Health

Latin American Politics and Society, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2010

APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper

43 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 11 Jun 2011

See all articles by Rodrigo M. Nunes

Rodrigo M. Nunes

St. Edward's University; University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Why are some newly empowered courts more likely than others to engage in progressive judicial activism? This paper addresses this question through an analysis of the origins and subsequent activism of the Colombian Constitutional Court towards rights in general, and the right to health in particular. My research suggests that ideational variables are the most effective in explaining this outcome. On the one hand, I argue that the Constitutional Court’s behavior reflects the dominance within it of a particular set of ideas about the judicial role. On the other, I provide evidence that programmatic beliefs about the relationship between rule of law and market-driven economic growth led power holders to create the Court and to appoint judges of this orientation. The emergence of progressive judicial activism in Colombia, my analysis suggests, was the unexpected outcome of purposeful political choices made by proponents of neoliberal economics.

NOTE: THIS PAPER HAS BEEN PUBLISHED Nunes, Rodrigo. 2010. "Ideational Origins of Progressive Judicial Activism: The Colombian Constitutional Court and the Right to Health." Latin American Politics and Society 52(3).

Keywords: Judicial review, Colombia, health litigation, ideas

Suggested Citation

Nunes, Rodrigo, Ideational Origins of Progressive Judicial Activism: The Colombian Constitutional Court and the Right to Health (2009). Latin American Politics and Society, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2010, APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1449536 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1449536

Rodrigo Nunes (Contact Author)

St. Edward's University ( email )

3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704
United States

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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