Strategic interaction between constitutional courts and political actors in developing democracies
Aydın, Aylin (2012) Strategic interaction between constitutional courts and political actors in developing democracies. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1500469 (Table of Contents)
Until the 1990s, studies on democratic political institutions usually neglected the behavior of the courts outside the United States. However, recent research on comparative judicial politics sought to remedy this important shortcoming in the literature. Following the findings of these recent studies, I begin my dissertation by constructing a general model that explains the incentives of the incumbent governments to maintain the independence of the judiciary. Conducting a cross-country analysis of 97 democracies in the world, I show that under similar political conditions the incumbent governments in advanced and developing democracies adopt different incentives to maintain the independence of the judiciary. Cross-country analyses and the international indicators used in these types of analyses are not without their weaknesses. Thus, to better determine the influence of political factors on the independence of the judiciary, I continue my analysis by focusing on a single developing democracy. Using Turkey as a case study, I seek to find out if the structure of the government influences the invalidation of the laws by the Constitutional Court and if this changes across certain case level characteristics. In the last section of the dissertation, I seek to explain why the opposition political parties frequently bring cases to the constitutional court and choose to judicialize politics although the judiciary is not fully independent. I argue that the approaching time of the next general election affects the frequency of the main opposition party's referrals to the constitutional court. My argument is that this effect is conditioned by the opposition party's predictions about its chances in the election. Based on the empirical evidence from the Turkish case, I refer to this phenomenon as strategic litigation theory.
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