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Constitutional Frameworks and Democratic Consolidation: Parliamentarianism versus Presidentialism

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CONTRIBUTORS:
  Author Stepan, Alfred
  Author Skach, Cindy (b. ----, d. ----)
JOURNAL:
  World politics., 46(1), 1 - 22.
YEAR: 1993
PUB TYPE: Journal Article
SUBJECT(S): None
DISCIPLINE: Political Science
HTTP: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0043-8871%28199310%2946%3A1%3C1%3ACFADCP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z
LANGUAGE: English
PUB ID: 103-387-739 (Last edited on 2003/11/21 18:48:46 US/Mountain)
SPONSOR(S):
 
ABSTRACT:
A fundamental political-institutional question that has only recently received serious scholarly attention concerns the impact of different constitutional frameworks on democratic consolidation. Little systematic cross-regional evidence has been brought to bear on this question. This article reports the findings of the analysis of numerous different sources of data, all of which point in the direction of a much stronger correlation between democratic consolidation and the constitutional framework of pure parliamentarianism than between consolidation and pure presidentialism. The systematic analysis of these data leads the authors to conclude that parliamentarianism is a more supportive constitutional framework due to the following theoretically predictable and empirically observable tendencies: its greater propensity for governments to have majorities to implement their programs, its greater ability to rule in a multiparty setting, its lower propensity for executives to rule at the edge of the constitution and its greater facility in removing a chief executive if he or she does so, its lower susceptibility to a military coup, and its greater tendency to provide long party-government careers, which add loyalty and experience to political society. In contrast, the analytically separable propensities of presidentialism also form a highly interactive system, but they work to impede democratic consolidation by reducing politicians' degrees of freedom.
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