ECPR Reykjavik conference, Panel: Rule of Law, Informal Institutions and Democracy in Latin America and Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective

Call for papersECPR Reykjavik conferenceCall for Papers
  • Section: Latin American Democracies in Comparative Perspective
Panel: Rule of Law, Informal Institutions and Democracy in Latin America and Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective.
Today, rule of law is widely considered as an essential precondition of democracy. The recent discussions of democratic consolidation or quality of democracy became aware of the fact that deficiencies in rule of law raise crucial issues. Non-consolidated democracies often fulfill formal conditions like free and fair elections, and therefore are classified as at least electoral democracy, but lack essential aspects of full democracies like rule of law. Thus the rule of law concept returns to the forefront of democratization studies, with crucial works (such as the seminal pieces by Guillermo O’Donnell) concentrating increasingly on informal institutions like corruption and clientelism, and informal organizations like organized crime as a main cause of weak rule of law and therefore deficient democracy.The main theme of this panel is the interplay between informal institutions and the rule of law. Theoretical and conceptual discussions, as well as empirical and comparative studies are welcome. The regional focus (a comparative perspective on the two newly democratized regions Latin America and Eastern Europe) shall overcome regional biases and limitations and widen the scope for discovering similarities and differences.Topics could be: i. conceptualizations and measurements of rule of law and informal institutions; ii. informal institutions and organized crime as main causes of defects of the rule of law; iii. judicial reforms, anti-corruption programs, and combating organized crime as efforts for improving rule of law; iv. international dimension: Rule of law and democracy promotion in developmental assistance, EU-accession conditionality and good governance (World bank, USAID, etc.).The potential paper givers are free to conceptualize both rule of law and informal institutions as dependent or independent variable. This panel encourages researchers presenting theoretically as well as empirically oriented contributions, cross-country comparisons as well as qualitative comparative or case studies to engage in productive discussions.The panel is chaired by Petra Rakusanova Guasti (Prague), Hans-Joachim Lauth (Würzburg), and Wolfgang Muno (Mainz).According to ECPR rules, paper proposals must be submitted through the MyECPR system ( deadline for proposals is 1 February 2011