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Tradizione giuridica occidentale e modernizzazione latinoamericana

Rechtsgeschichte - Legal History. 2012;(Rg 20):190-207 DOI 10.12946/rg20/190-207


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Rechtsgeschichte - Legal History

ISSN: 1619-4993 (Print); 2195-9617 (Online)

Publisher: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History

LCC Subject Category: Law | Political science

Country of publisher: Germany

Language of fulltext: Portuguese, French, English, Italian, German, Spanish

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Alessandro Somma


Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Latin America, where capitalist and democratic institutions advanced slowly, is usually considered as the periphery of the Western Legal Tradition. However, historical evidence will here be given that even in Europe and North America capitalism often established authoritarian or totalitarian political systems. Moreover, those who describe Latin American capitalism as less developed than the Western one, neglect the fact that underdevelopment was at least partially imposed; they also ignore the fact that, what is meant by underdevelopment, may also be seen as an alternative modernity program. The history and legal history of Venezuela in the first half of the past century shows that deficiencies in democracy were due to theories and practices which were widespread within the Western Legal Tradition; it also offers examples for considering some peculiarities in the development of capitalism as part of an original path to modernity, rather than a bad copy of it.