The democratization processes that have been observed in Latin American countries since the 1980s have been accompanied by a massive increase in violence and crime, as well as particular forms of (un)constitutionality. This area of research, therefore, begins with examining the empirical manifestations of these same processes and their political and social ramifications. In particular, the concern is with the question of the public character of the rule of law and the provision of security. By the same token, the new social movements that have emerged in Latin America in the context of democratization – and frequently been influenced by transnational legal discourses – have also led to new understandings of rights and the rule of law in civil society and far-reaching constitutional and federal legislative reforms, especially in the areas of anti-discrimination, anti-racism, the protection of minorities and gender. A second focus of research consequently examines new configurations of rights in Latin America.