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Executive Institutions. Choices and consequences. Structure. Recap last class: Electoral systems: key points and clarifying mixed systems Debate about the choice of types of executives Are presidential executives inherently less stable?

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executive institutions

Executive Institutions

Choices and consequences

structure
Structure
      • Recap last class:
          • Electoral systems: key points and clarifying mixed systems
      • Debate about the choice of types of executives
      • Are presidential executives inherently less stable?
      • Juan Linz, Arend Lijphart v. Shugart and Carey, Cheibub
  • Classifying types of executives
      • Presidential, semi-presidential, and parliamentary executives (Lijphart, Duverger, Siaroff, Norris)
  • Evidence about the consequences
      • For democratization and stability
      • ‘Big men’ executives in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Conclusions
      • What types of executive would you recommend for post-conflict peace–settlements in Iraq and Afghanistan?
resources
Resources
  • Siaroff, Alan. 2003. ‘Comparative presidencies: The inadequacy of the presidential, semi-presidential and parliamentary distinction .’ European Journal of Political Research 42: 287.
  • Van Cranenburgh, Oda. 2008. ‘\'Big Men\' Rule: Presidential Power, Regime Type and Democracy in 30 African Countries.’ Democratization15(5): 952-973.
  • Pippa Norris. 2008. Driving Democracy: Do Power-Sharing Institutions Work? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch 6.
plan assignment 1 18 th oct
Plan Assignment #1 - 18th Oct
  • Paper. 20%. Institutional Choices. Due 10am Monday 18th October. 1,500 word essay. Pick one of the following topics.
  • Compare any two countries emerging from conflict and outline the primary advantages and disadvantages of the choice of alternative electoral systems for each state.
  • Does decentralization strengthen or weaken good governance?
  • Do participatory processes encourage more sustainable and democratic constitutional choices? Discuss by comparing and contrasting any two contemporary cases of constitution writing.
  • “Presidential executives generate inherently more unstable regimes.” Evaluate and discuss.
i recap

I. Recap

Types of electoral systems

recap mixed systems
Recap: Mixed systems
  • ‘Combined’, ‘dual’, ‘hybrid’ systems
      • Combined dependent
        • eg Germany, NZ
        • Distribution of seats depend upon the 2nd party list PR vote
        • ‘Top up’ for smaller parties
      • Combined independent
        • eg Ukraine, Taiwan
        • Two electoral formulae used independently in the same election to the same body
ii d ebates

II. Debates

Consequences of types of executives for political stability, governance, and democratization

juan linz s critique presidential executives are inherently less stable
Juan Linz’s critique: Presidential executives are inherently less stable
  • Elections are a zero-sum game: one winner raises stakes
  • Weaker partisan links with legislature, fewer coalition incentives, less cooperation, more potential gridlock
    • Exacerbated in fragmented party systems with PR elections for the legislature
  • Rival sources of legitimacy: legislature and executive
  • Difficulties of removing unpopular, incapacitated, or corrupt leaders and lack of smooth executive succession
  • Depends upon the qualities of an individual leader – a risky course
  • More breakdown of democratic states in presidential regimes (especially in Latin America)
  • Ref: Juan Linz 1990. “The perils of presidentialism.’ Jnl of Democracy 1/1: 51-69.
juan linz
Juan Linz
  • “While parliamentarism imparts flexibility to the political process, presidentialism makes it rather rigid.”
  • Tensions between desire for strong leader and need for constraints
  • “Presidentialism is ineluctably problematic because it operates according to the rule of ‘winner-take-all’..a zero sum game, with all the potential for conflict such games portend.”
  • Agree or disagree?
    • Ref: Juan Linz 1990. “The perils of presidentialism.’ Jnl of Democracy 1/1: 51-69.
challenges to linz s claims
Challenges to Linz’s claims
  • Matthew Shugartand John Carey. 1992. Presidents and Assemblies CUP.
    • Problem is not presidential executives per se but strong presidential powers
    • Compares breakdown of democratic regimes in developing societies in 20th C and finds that more parliamentary regimes have broken down (59%) rather than presidential regimes (52%)
    • “We find no justification for the claim of Linz and others that presidentialism is inherently prone to breakdown.” p42.
    • Presidential systems also allow direct accountability to electorate
challenges to linz s claims1
Challenges to Linz’s claims
  • Jose Cheibub 2007. ‘Presidentialism, Parliamentarism and Democracy.’ CUP.
    • Presidential executives more likely to arise in states with history of military coups and in larger countries
    • Instability and democratic breakdown is due to these historical developments and authoritarian legacy, not type of executives per se
    • Once the authoritarian legacy is held constant, presidential and parliamentary democracies have relatively equal chances of surviving (p.22)
political importance of issue
Political importance of issue
  • Afghanistan: strong presidential system
      • Direct 2nd ballot elections, Head of Gov and head of state, two term limit, appoints Cabinet)
      • Yet weak legislature, weak parties, few effective checks and balances, no obvious successor
  • Yet Iraq, parliamentary executive,
      • Presidency council: President, two vice presidents, and a prime minister
      • President elected by 2/3rd House of Representatives
      • PM from largest party
      • Elections in 2010 yet stalemate in forming new government
iii types of executives

III. Types of Executives

Classifying and defining types

defining heads of government lijphart 1999 patterns of democracy
Defining heads of government (Lijphart 1999 Patterns of Democracy)
  • Presidential
    • Elected for a fixed term of office
    • Popular (direct) election
    • Non-collegial one-person executive with subordinate cabinet
  • Parliamentary
    • Prime Minister is subject to a vote of no confidence and thus accountable to parliament
    • PM leads largest party
    • Cabinet executive with collective responsibility

Problems with this classification?

semi presidential category
Semi-presidential category

Maurice Duverger – 5th French Republic

President elected by popular vote

Head of state shares executive power with PM

President is independent of parliament

PM and cabinet are dependent on parliament

Mutual autonomy, cohabitation

E.g. Finland, Austria, Ireland, Portugal

type of executives by region
Type of executives by region

Table 6.3: Classification of type of executives by region, 2003

Note: The number of states falling into each category in 2003.

Source: Coded from Arthur S. Banks Cross-national Time-series Data Archive.

trends in types of executive
Trends in types of executive

Mixed

Presidential

Note: Coded from Arthur S. Banks Cross-national Time-series Data Archive.

types and parliamentary powers
Types and parliamentary powers

Parliamentary Powers Index: (PPI)

The aggregate strength of the national legislature (0-1 scale) (Fish-Kroenig 2009).

Classification of executive types (Norris Driving Democracy)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mean N Std. Deviation

PPI

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Parliamentary Monarchy .65 18 .11996

2Mixed executive .50 81 .21022

3 Presidential republic .47 39 .11054

4 Monarchy .23 9 .08337

5 Military state .19 3 .22605

Total .49 152 .19684

political crisis by types of executives
Political crisis by types of executives

Note: The political crisis scale is constructed from events recorded in the Banks dataset including the number of coups d’etat, major constitutional changes, political assassinations, general strikes, cases of guerrilla warfare, government crisis, purges of opposition, riots, revolutions, and anti-government demonstrations. The measure is constructed for every regime-year as a simple additive scale without any weighting.

Source: Coded from Arthur S. Banks Cross-national Time-series Data Archive 1972-2003.

van craneburgh african states
Van Craneburgh: African states

Type 1: Countries with a single head of state and government selected by popular election, but accountable to the legislature

Type 2: (Presidential republics) Countries with a single popularly elected head of state and government, not accountable to the legislature. E.g. Ghana

Type 3: Countries with a single head of state and government not selected by popular election, but accountable to the legislature. E.g. South Africa

Type 4: Countries with a single head of state and government selected in some capacity by the legislature, but thereafter not accountable to it.

Type 5: (Mixed republics) Countries with a popularly elected head of state and a separate head of government (prime minister (PM)), with the latter accountable to the legislature eg Namibia

Type 6: Countries with a popularly elected head of state and a separate head of government not accountable to the legislature.

Type 7: (Mixed republic) Countries with a head of state selected in some capacity by the legislature and a separate head of government (PM), with the latter accountable to the legislature. Eg Mauritius

Type 8: Countries with a head of state not popularly elected and a separate head of government not accountable to the legislature

van craneburgh s conclusions
Van Craneburgh’s conclusions

Presidential powers vary considerably among African states

Varied performance of ‘presidential’ and ‘semi-presidential’ systems

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Classification of executive types far from straightforward
  • Institutional choices matter
    • Parliamentarismis associated with consolidation of democracy
        • Robust effect for different countries and time periods
        • Robust effect for different measures of democracy
        • Cases illustrate historical processes underlying relationship
  • Yet among younger democracies, parliamentary regimes are far less common than mixed executives
  • Policy implications for constitutional choices..Sudan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq…
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