Determinants of Judicial Dissent in Contexts of Extreme Institutional Instability: The Case of Ecuador’s Constitutional Court

Santiago Basabe-Serrano


This article identifies the variables that explain the dissenting legal vote in courts that operate under conditions of extreme institutional instability. Drawing on three logistic regression models, this article proposes that judges’ ideological preferences constitute a good predictor of the dissenting vote. Contrary to the classic argument, which indicates that the instability of judges encourages strategic voting, this article argues that this relationship can be demonstrated only up to a certain point – that is, until an exponential increase in institutional instability leads the judges to vote sincerely, even when this means being part of a minority or “losing” coalition.

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