Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 11/Feb/2013;7(2):88-113.
The Judicialization of Territorial Politics in Brazil, Colombia and Spain*
This article explains how judicial review influences intergovernmental political dynamics in Brazil, Colombia and Spain. The argument is developed in light of two questions: how supreme courts have established themselves as pivotal institutions for settling vertical intergovernmental disputes, and how national and subnational politicians use judicial review in order to enhance their own interests. A comparison between the judicial review processes in federal Brazil, quasi-federal Spain, and unitary Colombia provides an answer to these questions. Accounting for the differences in the territorial organization and systems of government among these countries, the article assesses the patterns of judicial review originating from the subnational level. Findings suggest that courts affect the interaction between national and subnational politicians in the three country-cases, but through different patterns of judicialization of territorial politics.