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2010/10/25

IPSA-AISP Conference @ Sao Paulo

Conference Theme: Political Regimes, Democratic Consolidation and the Quality of Democracy
Section: Presidentialism, Parliamentarism & Semi-Presidentialism: Constitutions & Democratic Performance

We propose this panel: “Semi-presidentialism: Easy to Choose, Difficult to Operate” as a part of Robert Elgie’s section “Presidentialism, Parliamentarism & Semi-Presidentialism.” The spread of semi-presidentialism to more than fifty countries in the world is the most phenomenal constitutional development in decades. Most of them are nascent democracies. It turns out that semi-presidentialism is easy to choose, but difficult to operate. This raises the question of political stability and democratic survival/consolidation in those semi-presidential countries. The existing literature puts emphasis on the institutional design as a determinant of the system’s performance. A fuller explanation should also take into consideration background factors (such as political legacy), the way the constitutional order was installed, as well as the specific institutional arrangements. Our panel will explore the frontier of semi-presidentialism: post-communist Europe, post-colonial Africa (particularly Lusophone and Francophone) and Asia where one finds 90 percent of the world’s semi-presidential countries. We will discuss the context of those countries, the way in which semi-presidentialism was institutionalized, the specific sub-type of the system, and how it performs and evolves. We are particularly interested in the “emerging semi-presidential regimes” such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and Turkey, comparing them with more established semi-presidential countries.

Papers
•Coalition Termination and Political Instability in Semi-presidentialism
•Evolution Of The Semi-Presidentialism: Why The Parliamentary System Will Be The Target?
•Exploring the “Power-Sharing” Mode of Sem-presidentialism
•Political Institutions and Cabinet Stability in Semi-presidential Democracies
•Semi-presidentialism and Power-Sharing - Does it Work? Examples from Anglophone Africa

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