22 Mai 2020
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States of Emergency without Rule of Law: The Case of Venezuela

Nicolás Maduro, who still holds the presidency, declared a state of alarm on March 13, 2020, invoking the need to counter the pandemic. However, the corresponding decree not only contradicts the constitutional provisions for states of exception but is also being employed to impose abusive limitations on human rights, to aggravate political repression and persecution, to blur the seriousness of certain socio-economic problems, and to contain social protests. The absence of judicial and parliamentary controls that could counteract these excesses of power has resulted in an autocratic shift within a context that was already authoritarian. Continue reading >>
14 Mai 2019
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Diplomatisches Asyl als Einmischung? Venezuelas Oppositionsführer Leopoldo López in der spanischen Botschaft

Venezuela bleibt eine Quelle spannender völkerrechtlicher Fragen. Eine weitere Facette hat das komplexe Geschehen nun dadurch erhalten, dass sich der Oppositionspolitiker Leopoldo López seit Anfang Mai in der spanischen Botschaft in Caracas aufhält, um sich dem Zugriff der Regierung zu entziehen. Handelt es sich damit um eine Neuauflage der gerade zu Ende gegangenen Saga um den Aufenthalt von Julian Assange in der ecuadorianischen Botschaft in London? Continue reading >>
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28 Januar 2019

Rival Governments in Venezuela: Democracy and the Question of Recognition

Venezuela is divided into two opposite sets of institutions with competing claims to power. States all over the world face now a choice between two parallel regimes. Only one can be recognized as legitimate. This article argues that, against the backdrop of a split society and rival institutions, coupled with massive protests and widespread civic resistance, democratic legitimation provides a solid criterion for recognition. Continue reading >>
25 Januar 2019

Demystifying the Democratic Transition in Venezuela

Transition from autocracy has begun in Venezuela, and misconceptions and misunderstandings about this process abound. Some talk of a coup d'état, others blame US interventionism. It's neither - but what is it? Continue reading >>
23 November 2017

A Constituent Assembly Only in Name? Part III on Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly

The constitutional assembly in Venezuela is a constituent assembly in name only: First, it does not seem to be a temporary body that aims at performing its tasks within a preassigned and limited time frame. Second, so far it appears as if it is not the Constituent Assembly´s primary goal to draft a new constitution. Rather, its actions and the conscious choice of the Federal Legislative Palace as a meeting place suggest that the aim of this “superpower” is to replace the opposing parliament and silence any dissent. Continue reading >>

A Constituent Assembly Only in Name? Part II on Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly

On the 1st of May 2017, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro called for a constituent assembly invoking the articles 348, 70, 236 and 347 of the 1999 Constitution. This is in alignment with Maduro’s first line of argument that he acted according to the present constitution. However, there are many reasons to believe he is not. Continue reading >>

A Constituent Assembly Only in Name? Part I on Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly

In July 2017, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro convened a constituent assembly. In other words, an authoritarian president under pressure relies on what some theorists have referred to as the origin of all democratic rule. This raises one central question: Is this assembly really a constituent assembly, or is it one in name only? Continue reading >>
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21 August 2017

Venezuela: Lessons of a Crisis Written on the Wall

The current crisis in Venezuela is the culmination of a process that has been going on for a long time. For the past 18 years, Venezuela has been accumulating all the ingredients – in its society, the State, the economy and democracy– to create a perfect storm. Continue reading >>
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