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Description - Presidents and Assemblies by Matthew Soberg Shugart

In recent years renewed attention has been directed to the importance of the role of institutional design in democratic politics. Particular interest has concerned constitutional design and the relative merits of parliamentary versus presidential systems. A virtual consensus has formed around the argument that parliamentary systems are preferable overall to presidential systems, due largely to the loss of power to the executive and assembly in presidential systems. In this book, the authors systematically assess the strengths and weaknesses of various forms of presidential systems, drawing on recent developments in the theoretical literature about institutional design and electoral rules. They develop a typology of democratic regimes that are structured around the separation of powers principle, including two hybrid forms, the premier-presidential and president-parliamentary systems, and they evaluate a number of alternative ways of balancing powers between the branches within these basic frameworks. They also demonstrate that electoral rules are critically important in determining how authority can be exercised within these systems, describing the range of electoral rules that can be instituted and the effects they have on the shape of party systems, on the political agenda, and on the prospects for cooperation between presidents and assemblies.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521419628
ISBN-10: 052141962X
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 26mm)
Pages: 332
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 28-Aug-1992
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Matthew Soberg Shugart

John M. Carey is John Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College. He has also taught at the Universidad Catolica de Chile, the University of Rochester, Washington University in St Louis, Harvard University, and at the Fundacion Juan March in Madrid, Spain. His interests are comparative politics, elections, and Latin American politics. His research focuses on institutional design and democratic representation. Carey's books include Legislative Voting and Accountability (Cambridge University Press), Executive Decree Authority (with Matthew Shugart, Cambridge University Press), Term Limits in the State Legislatures (with Richard Niemi and Lynda Powell, University of Michigan Press), and Term Limits and Legislative Representation (Cambridge University Press). He has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, Party Politics, Comparative Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, Public Choice, Estudios Publicos, Political y Gobierno, the Revista de Ciencias Politicas, and the Revista Brasileira de Ciencias Sociais, as well as chapters in twenty edited volumes. Data and results from his research are available on his website (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jcarey/).

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