Gyliakov Alexander Dmitrievich, Candidate of juridical sciences, associate professor, Rector of Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), firstname.lastname@example.org
Background. What is Federalism? Is it a standart model of power and territorial organization or it may contain some deviations linked with specific characteristics of one or another country? The author shares the latter position. Latin America is a very specific continent with countries not similar to USA, Canada or even Australia.
They had sharp social, cultural and racial contrasts. Military and landlord cliques ruled them very often. The democracy was limited, and federalism was more like messy unitarism.
Matherials and methods. The article deals with the development of federalism in Argentine, Mexico and Brazil. These are the biggest federative countries with different fate. Constitutional history is depicted primarily. But economic, social and political roots of federalism are analyzed simultaneously. The comparative method is applied to see the reasons of peculiarities and peculiarities themselves in the development of the three countries.
Results. The history of the Argentinian Federalism shows sharp contradictions between federalists and unitarists from the very beginning. The problem of federalism was decided more smoothly in Mexico and Brazil. But in all of the three countries we did not see formation of democratic grass roots of federalism like in the USA and Canada, Australia to a lesser degree. The same can be said about the 20th century when centralist, paternalist reforms were started. Only in 1990’s there were some attempts to donate more power to subunits.
Conclusions. Unitarian federalism in Latin America is based upon traditional charismatic leadership (caudilistic leadership in the past) and political unstability. Of course, federative states may try to lessen centralistic ties, but there is a political danger of disintegration. At the same time the uniformity score of federal systems for Latin American countries is at the same level that for Austria, Germany, Russia. And this is an additional proof that Argentina, Mexico, Brazil are federative, but not unitarian, entities in the end.
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