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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.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Semi-presidentialism; democracy; divided government;
Subjects:Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Initiatives and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS)
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Official URL:
Copyright Information:Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:2077
Deposited On:04 Nov 2008 10:24 by Iain McMenamin. Last Modified 17 Feb 2009 12:18

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