Institutional Reform and Rights Revolutions in Latin America: The Cases of Costa Rica and Colombia

Bruce M. Wilson


This article analyzes the conditions that allowed for expansive rights revolutions in Costa Rica and Colombia. My research suggests that many of the preconditions for rights revolutions in other regions of the world are also central to understanding Latin American cases. Of particular relevance is judicial system design including the high courts’ operating rules concerning access, standing, and judicial formality. These factors can and do mitigate the need for extensive resources and support structures necessary in other non-Latin American countries in which rights revolutions have occurred.

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