Legislative Institutionalization in Latin America: Nicaragua (1979-2005) and Costa Rica (1871-2005)

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194315
Title:
Legislative Institutionalization in Latin America: Nicaragua (1979-2005) and Costa Rica (1871-2005)
Author:
Peralta, Jesus Salvador
Issue Date:
2006
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
How do legislatures develop or institutionalize? Our knowledge about legislative development is mostly based on studies of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. state legislatures. However, we know next to nothing about legislative development in the emerging democracies of Latin America. Given the need to develop effective democratic institutions in that region, it is critical to understand how institutions change and how legislatures in particular develop. In this study, I develop a model of legislative development that complements rational choice and path dependent explanations of change. In particular, this model provides an answer to the question: how does a legislative organization change into a legislative institution?In particular, I hypothesize that legislative development varies depending on the extent to which electoral and constitutional reforms balance executive-legislative power asymmetries. To test this hypothesis, I compare legislative development in Nicaragua (1979-2005) and Costa Rica (1871-2005). Central to the process of legislative development are: (1) power asymmetries between presidents and assemblies, (2) the rules and organizations that are established to balance these asymmetries, (3) how rules and organizations affect the development of the legislatures from simple, subordinate organizations into complex and autonomous institutions, and (4) how the broader social, political, and economic environment contributes to legislative development.I find that political actors do not act or function within an historical or contextual vacuum, nor does history and context alone determine political choices and outcomes. Instead, political actors function within rational, institutional, and historical boundaries, so an approach that incorporates aspects of both rational choice and path dependent explanations is preferable to existing models of legislative change. Therefore, part of my contribution is (1) to clarify the conceptual confusion surrounding institutions, organizations, and rules, and reduce ambiguity relating to their incorrect use in current scholarship; (2) to conceptualize legislative development as a process - not an outcome - that unfolds in a causally related sequence; and (3) to develop a Bounded Rationality Model that complements rational choice with path dependent explanations of legislative development to explain how organizations become institutions.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Latin America; Institutions; Legislatures; Rational Choice; Path Dependence; Democracy
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Political Science; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Willerton, John P.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleLegislative Institutionalization in Latin America: Nicaragua (1979-2005) and Costa Rica (1871-2005)en_US
dc.creatorPeralta, Jesus Salvadoren_US
dc.contributor.authorPeralta, Jesus Salvadoren_US
dc.date.issued2006en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractHow do legislatures develop or institutionalize? Our knowledge about legislative development is mostly based on studies of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. state legislatures. However, we know next to nothing about legislative development in the emerging democracies of Latin America. Given the need to develop effective democratic institutions in that region, it is critical to understand how institutions change and how legislatures in particular develop. In this study, I develop a model of legislative development that complements rational choice and path dependent explanations of change. In particular, this model provides an answer to the question: how does a legislative organization change into a legislative institution?In particular, I hypothesize that legislative development varies depending on the extent to which electoral and constitutional reforms balance executive-legislative power asymmetries. To test this hypothesis, I compare legislative development in Nicaragua (1979-2005) and Costa Rica (1871-2005). Central to the process of legislative development are: (1) power asymmetries between presidents and assemblies, (2) the rules and organizations that are established to balance these asymmetries, (3) how rules and organizations affect the development of the legislatures from simple, subordinate organizations into complex and autonomous institutions, and (4) how the broader social, political, and economic environment contributes to legislative development.I find that political actors do not act or function within an historical or contextual vacuum, nor does history and context alone determine political choices and outcomes. Instead, political actors function within rational, institutional, and historical boundaries, so an approach that incorporates aspects of both rational choice and path dependent explanations is preferable to existing models of legislative change. Therefore, part of my contribution is (1) to clarify the conceptual confusion surrounding institutions, organizations, and rules, and reduce ambiguity relating to their incorrect use in current scholarship; (2) to conceptualize legislative development as a process - not an outcome - that unfolds in a causally related sequence; and (3) to develop a Bounded Rationality Model that complements rational choice with path dependent explanations of legislative development to explain how organizations become institutions.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectLatin Americaen_US
dc.subjectInstitutionsen_US
dc.subjectLegislaturesen_US
dc.subjectRational Choiceen_US
dc.subjectPath Dependenceen_US
dc.subjectDemocracyen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePolitical Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairWillerton, John P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGarcia, John A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRenno, Lucioen_US
dc.identifier.proquest1951en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659746524en_US
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