Going beyond the roman dictator: A comprehensive approach to emergency rule, with evidence from latin america

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The aim of this article is to contribute to the debate on emergency rule, a practice that democratic theory has struggled to conceptualize. Accordingly, this article differs from existing approaches, which mainly focus on the constitutional design of regimes of exception and tend to identify the institution of the Roman dictator as their source. In contrast, we offer a comprehensive approach, considering other historical sources of emergency rule, going beyond the dichotomy of constitutional and de facto emergency, and focusing specifically on the types of emergency powers involved: executive, legislative and judicial. We propose a different way of conceptualizing emergency rule, following a political rather than a constitutional logic, and we illustrate this different conceptualization by offering evidence from Bolivia, Chile and Guatemala to demonstrate how this comprehensive approach works in practice. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-734
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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