Semi-presidentialism and democratic performance
Elgie, Robert and McMenamin, Iain (2008) Semi-presidentialism and democratic performance. Japanese Journal of Political Science, 9 (3). pp. 323-340. ISSN 1474-0060
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There is a long-standing and widespread consensus that semi-presidentialism is bad for democratic performance. This article examines whether there is empirical evidence to support the arguments against semi-presidentialism. Examining countries that incompletely consolidated and yet not autocratic, we identify the relationship between democratic performance and the three main arguments against semi-presidentialism – the strength of the presidency, cohabitation and divided minority government. We find that there is a strong and negative association between presidential power and democratic performance, but that cohabitation and divided minority government do not have the negative consequences that the literature predicts.
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