We follow the activity of both directly elected and indirectly elected presidents. We post information about how presidents use their powers in different countries as well as information about events that affect presidents. We also post reflections on presidential power generally both in individual countries and cross-nationally.
We include coverage of democracies, autocracies, and the range of regimes in between.
We examine presidential politics from a political science perspective. We aim to provide information and analysis for the academic, research and practitioner communities.
More information about the purpose of this blog can be found in our inaugural post.
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How to cite posts
To cite posts we recommend the following format:
Yap, Fiona (2016), ‘South Korea – Impeachment of the President: Critical Citizens and Political Will’, Presidential Power, http://presidential-power.com/?p=5794, 20 December 2016. (Accessed 4 January 2017).
Angel, Veronica (2016), ‘Veronica Anghel – In the making: A Romanian government with a potentially enhanced life-expectancy’, Presidential Power, http://presidential-power.com/?p=5806, 22 December 2016. (Accessed 4 January 2017).
We regularly refer to concepts such as presidentialism, semi-presidentialism, and cohabitation. These concepts can be understood in different ways. Here is how we understand them.
Presidentialism – where there is a directly elected (or popularly elected) fixed-term president, where cabinet members are not collectively responsible to the legislature, and where the legislature serves for a fixed term
Semi-presidentialism – where there is a directly elected (or popularly elected) fixed-term president and a prime minister and cabinet who are collectively responsible to the legislature (Elgie, 2011, p. 22)
Parliamentarism – where there is either a monarch or an indirectly elected president and where the prime minister and cabinet are collectively responsible to the legislature
Parliamentary republic – where there is an indirectly elected president and where the prime minister and cabinet are collectively responsible to the legislature
Premier-presidentialism – a form of semi-presidentialism where the prime minister and cabinet are collectively responsible solely to the legislature (Shugart and Carey, 1992)
President-parliamentarism – a form of semi-presidentialism where both the prime minister and cabinet are collectively responsible to both the legislature and the president (Shugart and Carey, 1992)
Cohabitation – where the president and prime minister are from opposing parties and where the president’s party is not represented in the cabinet (Elgie, 2011, p. 12). In theory, this can occur under semi-presidentialism and in parliamentary republics, but in practice the term is reserved for semi-presidentialism
Unified government – where one party simultaneously controls the presidency and has a majority in all houses of the legislature (Shugart, 1995, p. 327). This situation can occur under all three separation-of-powers systems. Under parliamentarism, it is a single-party majority or coalition majority government
Divided government – where a legislative majority is held by a party or pre-election coalition which is different from that of the president (Shugart, 1995, p. 327). This situation occurs under presidentialism
Divided executive – where the president and prime minister are from opposing parties but where the president’s party is represented in the cabinet. This is a coalition government, but where the president and prime minister are from different parties. This can occur under semi-presidentialism and in parliamentary republics, but it is likely to be more consequential under semi-presidentialism
No-majority government – where no party holds a majority in the houses of the legislature (Shugart, 1995, p. 327). This situation can occur under all three separation-of-powers systems. It is the equivalent of minority government under semi-presidentialism and parliamentarism
Elgie, Robert (2011), Semi-Presidentialism: Sub-Types And Democratic Performance, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Shugart, Matthew Soberg (1995), ‘The Electoral Cycle and Institutional Sources of Divided Presidential Government’, American Political Science Review, Vol. 89, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 327-343.
Shugart, Matthew Soberg, and John M. Carey (1992), Presidents and Assemblies. Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.