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Title page for ETD etd-07152009-154311

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Donoso, Juan Carlos
Author's Email Address juan.c.donoso@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07152009-154311
Title A Means to an End: Judicial Independence, Corruption and the Rule of Law in Latin America
Degree PhD
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mitchell A. Seligson Committee Co-Chair
Neal Tate Committee Co-Chair
Jonathan Hiskey Committee Member
  • judicial independence
  • corruption
  • rule of law
Date of Defense 2009-02-10
Availability unrestricted
This project seeks to understand the meaning and importance of judicial independence. The capacity of a judicial system to administrate justice without outside influences is a necessary requisite for the consolidation of a liberal democracy. In this dissertation I explore the various ways in which judicial independence has been measured in Latin America. Using survey data gathered in 19 countries of the Americas in 2006, I assess the effect that country level judicial independence has on the experiences of individual citizens with corruption in the public and private sphere, as well as their personal attitudes towards government institutions that represent the rule of law in their countries. In the end, I find that when independence is measured as an outcome and not as the set of constitutional provisions intended to guarantee it, it has a direct effect on the personal experiences and attitudes of citizens in Latin America.
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