Through an analysis of constitutional transitions in one democratizing case (Spain 1978) and one authoritarian case (Chile 1980), this article argues that judicial empowerment can be accurately explained only through reference to the historical and ideational context in which institutional designers operate. Historical and ideational factors-that is, shared experiences, beliefs, identities, ideologies, and interpretations of events and sequences of events at home or abroad-shape the way that political actors perceive their interests, formulate their strategies, and justify their decisions and are thus crucial to explaining when, why, and how institutional designers choose to empower courts.
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- Constitutional courts
- Institutional design
- Judicial empowerment
- Judicial review