Presidents and Assemblies

Presidents and Assemblies : Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics

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In recent years renewed attention has been directed to the importance of the role of institutional design in democratic politics. Particular interest has concerned constitutional design and the relative merits of parliamentary versus presidential systems. In this book, the authors systematically assess the strengths and weaknesses of various forms of presidential systems, drawing on recent developments in the theoretical literature about institutional design and electoral rules. They develop a typology of democratic regimes structured around the separation of powers principle, including two hybrid forms, the premier-presidential and president-parliamentary systems, and they evaluate a number of alternative ways of balancing powers between the branches within these basic frameworks. They also demonstrate that electoral rules are critically important in determining how political authority is more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 14 b/w illus. 18 tables
  • 1139173987
  • 9781139173988

Review quote

'This is an important book. It is the first truly comparative analysis of presidential systems, a comparative analysis which had been almost entirely neglected so far: Professors Shugart and Carey are to be much congratulated for entering this field and showing how rich and varied it can be.' Government and Oppositionshow more

Table of contents

Part I. Presidential and Parliamentary Democracy: 1. Basic choices in democratic regime types; 2. What is presidentialism? Criticisms and responses; 3. The constitutional origin and survival of assembly and executive; 4. Legislative powers of presidents: veto and decree; Part II. Electoral Dynamics of Presidential Democracy: 5. Electoral dynamics: efficiency and inefficiency; 6. Electoral rules and the party system; 7. Electoral cycles and the party system; Part III. Institutiona: Engineering: 8. Semi-presidentialism: the third alternative; 9. Electoral cycles in semi-presidential regimes; 10. Divided polities and collegial presidencies; 11. Conclusions; more

About Matthew Soberg Shugart

John M. Carey is John Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College. He has also taught at the Universidad Catolica de Chile, the University of Rochester, Washington University in St Louis, Harvard University, and at the Fundacion Juan March in Madrid, Spain. His interests are comparative politics, elections, and Latin American politics. His research focuses on institutional design and democratic representation. Carey's books include Legislative Voting and Accountability (Cambridge University Press), Executive Decree Authority (with Matthew Shugart, Cambridge University Press), Term Limits in the State Legislatures (with Richard Niemi and Lynda Powell, University of Michigan Press), and Term Limits and Legislative Representation (Cambridge University Press). He has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, Party Politics, Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, Public Choice, Estudios Publicos, Political y Gobierno, the Revista de Ciencias Politicas, and the Revista Brasileira de Ciencias Sociais, as well as chapters in twenty edited volumes. Data and results from his research are available on his website ( more

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9 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
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4 22% (2)
3 44% (4)
2 22% (2)
1 0% (0)
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