Judicial Politics in New Democracies

Judicial Politics in New Democracies : Cases from Southern Africa

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That judicial institutions are important for emerging democracies leaves little (if any) room for debate. But to what extent do judiciaries in these new democracies maintain their autonomy? And what accounts for varying levels of autonomy across states? Drawing on the cases of Malawi, Zambia, and Namibia - and offering a novel analytical framework - Peter VonDoepp illuminates why power holders behave as they do toward the courts. VonDoepp considers whether and why political leaders have respected or undermined judicial autonomy in each of the three cases. He also addresses how the courts themselves have shaped executive-judicial relations. His findings present unexpected challenges for existing frameworks, as well as important lessons about the factors and conditions affecting judicial development in transitional states. The book explains the varying levels of judicial autonomy in emerging democracies, focusing on why political power holders behave as they do toward the courts.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 185 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 12mm | 458.13g
  • Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • English
  • 1588266575
  • 9781588266576
  • 2,481,770

Review quote

"An insightful examination of an extremely important topic.... Challenging preexisting theories on relations between the judiciary and the executive, VonDoepp provides an important contribution to our understanding of the role of the judiciary in sub-Saharan Africa and how it can help, and hinder, the process of democratic consolidation." - J. Michael Williams, University of San Diego.show more

Table of contents

Democracy and Judicial Autonomy: Investigating the Southern African Cases. Understanding Government Choices. Judicial Politics in Theoretical Perspective. Neopatrimonial Politics and the Intimidation of the Courts in Zambia. Patronage, Threats, and the Problem of Judicial Control in Malawi. Party Dominance and Judicial Autonomy in Namibia. Insights from the Southern African Cases.show more

About Peter Vondoepp

Peter VonDoepp is assistant professor of political science at the University of Vermont. He is editor (with Leonardo Villalon) of The Fate of Africa's Democratic Experiments: Elites and Institutions.show more

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