By Cindy Skach

After the cave in of communism, a few thirty nations scrambled to craft democratic constitutions. unusually, the constitutional version they ordinarily selected used to be neither the natural parliamentary version present in such a lot of Western Europe on the time, nor the presidential version of the Americas. relatively, it used to be semi-presidentialism--a infrequent version recognized extra as a rule because the "French type." This constitutional version melded components of natural presidentialism with these of natural parliamentarism. particularly, semi-presidentialism mixed a popularly elected head of nation with a head of presidency dependable to a legislature.

Borrowing Constitutional Designs questions the hasty adoption of semi-presidentialism by means of new democracies. Drawing on wealthy case experiences of 2 of an important international locations for eu politics within the 20th century--Weimar Germany and the French 5th Republic--Cindy Skach bargains the 1st theoretically concentrated, and traditionally grounded, research of semi-presidentialism and democracy. She demonstrates that constitutional selection concerns, simply because less than sure stipulations, semi-presidentialism constructions incentives that make democratic consolidation tricky or that truly give a contribution to democratic cave in. She deals a brand new thought of constitutional layout, integrating insights from legislations and the social sciences. In doing so, Skach demanding situations either democratic idea and democratic perform. This booklet can be welcomed not just through students and practitioners of constitutional legislation but in addition by means of these in fields resembling comparative politics, eu politics and heritage, and overseas and public affairs.

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These will be our two defining characteristics of the semipresidential constitution. The outstanding feature of semi-presidentialism is the existence of two executives. Executive power is shared between the president and prime coalition and minority governments has almost exclusively concerned itself with consolidated democratic systems and has ignored their performance in transitional democracies. ” World Politics, vol. 46, no. 1 (October 1993), pp. 1–22. Bernard Thibaut and Cindy Skach, “Parlamentarische oder pra¨sidentielle Demokratie?

The prime minister emanates from the legislature and is responsible to it, whereas the president has greater autonomy from the legislature and can survive without its approval. This autonomy sets up incentives for the president to push his own agenda, even if it means invading the prime minister’s domain. The shared power, but unequal legitimacy and accountability, structure theoretically predictable and empirically verifiable tensions into the semi-presidential type. For instance, in times of disagreement between the president and the prime minister, it is not always clear which executive has final decision authority.

In the absence of a clear majority in the counting of their first preferences, the second and third preferences are counted until arriving at a winner. 37 An 36 This is the actual percentage the French presidential candidate Jacques Chirac won in the first round of presidential elections on April 23, 1995. The second round, limited to the two front-runners, which included him and Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin, gave him 53 percent. 37 The counter argument is given by Horowitz, who claims that with this system, the only way to secure a victory is .

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