During the twentieth century, military dictatorships produced the largest number of authoritarian constitutions in Latin America. Why would military rulers invest time and resources in drafting constitutions? I argue that military leaders engage in constitution making to introduce more effective transformations of the political order during their rule and to have influence over the functioning of democracy after leaving power. However, in order to achieve all these goals, military dictators must be able to mobilize popular and partisan support for the authoritarian regime. Since this condition is rarely met, military rulers often fail in their constitution making strategy. I provide evidence in support of this argument using cross-national data and a qualitative analysis of the 1966-72, 1972-78, and 1964-84 military governments in Argentina, Ecuador, and Brazil.
- Constitution Making,
- Military Rulers,
- Authoritarian Constitutions
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gabriel_negretto/13/