Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review: Democracy and the Rule of Law

The essays in Democracy and the Rule of Law (Cambridge Studies in the Theory of Democracy) come across as a collection of authors synthesizing books that they've written and published elsewhere. Nonetheless, it is a very nice way to sample some of the literature in this field. Some of the essays, particularly the first few, tend a bit too much towards the legal theory and less on the institutional side. I particularly enjoyed Robert Barros' essays on constitutionalism in Pinochet's Chile - he provides a fascinating argument for how institutions and law can in fact bind dictators under certain conditions. Now, this book did come out before Tom Ginsburg's Judicial Review in New Democracies: Constitutional Courts in Asian Cases, and the literature on law and politics has only exploded since then. Still, I'd recommend this book to anybody interested in the field.

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