Presidential Term Limits: Comparing Reforms in Latin America and
Mariana Llanos, GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies, Hamburg
Zoom meeting 16:00-17:00 CET online
In this lecture Dr. Mariana Llanos takes a longitudinal view on presidential-term-limit reforms in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa since the third wave of democratization. Many countries in the two regions (re-)introduced term limits as a democratic safeguard against personal rule and power abuses. Since then, term limits have been contested by a plethora of reform attempts. Such reforms are commonly seen as a risk to democracy. Her theoretical and empirical research (together with Charlotte Heyl ) shows that the stability of term-limit rules is more prevalent than expected, but that this stability sometimes masks institutional ineffectiveness in authoritarian regimes. Rule instability induced by frequent reforms can be part of a piecemeal path towards autocratization, but it can also reflect an open-ended tug of war between authoritarian tendencies and democratic resistance.