Between Democratic Protection and Self-Defense: The Case of Unasur and Venezuela

19 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2015

See all articles by Carlos Closa

Carlos Closa

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Stefano Palestini Céspedes

European University Institute

Date Written: December 1, 2015

Abstract

Contrary to the assumption that the adoption and formalization of democratic protection mechanisms by regional organizations contribute per se to democratic consolidation, this article argues that the performance of those mechanism is tied to the interests of governments that are both their rule makers and their enforcers in concrete political crises. Governments design democratic protection mechanisms minimizing the probabilities that they could escape their discretionary control contributing to the paradoxical result that the provisions end up enforcing regime stability rather than democracy. We illustrate this claim with the intervention of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) in the post-Chávez Venezuela paying specific attention to two mechanisms: the democratic protocol and the electoral council. The structural bias in favor of the incumbent governments is not an exclusive tension of Unasur, and it should be systematically analyzed in the comparative studies and assessments of the link between regional organizations and democracy.

Keywords: Regional organizations; democratic clauses; democratic protection; Venezuela; Unasur

Suggested Citation

Closa, Carlos and Palestini Céspedes, Stefano, Between Democratic Protection and Self-Defense: The Case of Unasur and Venezuela (December 1, 2015). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2015/93. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699050 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2699050

Carlos Closa (Contact Author)

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) ( email )

Calle Albasanz 26-28
Madrid, Madrid 28037
Spain

Stefano Palestini Céspedes

European University Institute ( email )

Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
80
Abstract Views
488
rank
314,343
PlumX Metrics