Political Instability and Constitutional Instability in Latin American States
This lecture examines some outcomes of constitution-making processes in Latin America, focusing especially on the Brazilian Constitution of 1988, the Colombian Constitution of 1991, and the Bolivian Constitution of 2009.
It argues that, to understand the position of constitutions in unstable political settings, we need to distinguish between constitutional instability and political instability.
Some constitutions create or at least exacerbate political instability, whereas other constitutions reduce instability, even in extremely unstable environments. The three constitutions selected for discussion will provide examples.
Christopher Thornhill, Professor in Law at the University of Manchester, will deliver this lecture to set out the issues to be discusssed in a workshop on the challenges to constitutionalism, constitutional rights and institutional stability in Latin America, to be held the following day.
Professor Thornhill has held visiting Professorships in Chile and Brazil, and has conducted extensive research on the sociology of constitutional law which has helped to establish this as an important and rapidly expanding field of legal research.