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Measuring presidentialism and parliamentarism: An Application to Central and East European Countries

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Abstract:

In the political science literature, the simple dichotomy of parliamentarism and presidentialism is dominant, although more extensive classifications of executive–legislative relations have been suggested. This article seeks to move away from mere categorization of political regimes by developing a continuous and relative measure of ‘presidentialism’ and ‘parliamentarism’. It thus becomes possible to make more meaningful and precise cross-national comparisons as well as to analyse the systemic transformation of countries over time. This sharper analytic differentiation of regimes is particularly important when one studies political regimes in transition. This article will show that relative measures of presidentialism and parliamentarism are useful in analysing the executive–legislative relations of political systems and that this continuous measure can be used to examine more closely the assumed relationship between different regime types and democratic consolidation and stability. This is substantively important as it can affect the contradictory findings of empirical research into institutional formats and regime stability and performance.Acta Politica (2003) 38, 333–364. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500041

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500041

Affiliations: 1Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands., Email: apm.krouwel@fsw.vu.nl

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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