By Cindy Skach
After the cave in of communism, a few thirty nations scrambled to craft democratic constitutions. strangely, the constitutional version they ordinarily selected used to be neither the natural parliamentary version present in such a lot of Western Europe on the time, nor the presidential version of the Americas. fairly, it used to be semi-presidentialism--a infrequent version identified extra as a rule because the "French type." This constitutional version melded parts of natural presidentialism with these of natural parliamentarism. particularly, semi-presidentialism mixed a popularly elected head of country with a head of presidency liable to a legislature.
Borrowing Constitutional Designs questions the hasty adoption of semi-presidentialism via new democracies. Drawing on wealthy case reviews of 2 of crucial international locations for eu politics within the 20th century--Weimar Germany and the French 5th Republic--Cindy Skach bargains the 1st theoretically targeted, and traditionally grounded, research of semi-presidentialism and democracy. She demonstrates that constitutional selection concerns, simply because lower than sure stipulations, semi-presidentialism buildings incentives that make democratic consolidation tough or that really give a contribution to democratic cave in. She deals a brand new thought of constitutional layout, integrating insights from legislations and the social sciences. In doing so, Skach demanding situations either democratic concept and democratic perform. This booklet should be welcomed not just via students and practitioners of constitutional legislations but additionally by way of these in fields reminiscent of comparative politics, ecu politics and heritage, and overseas and public affairs.
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Additional info for Borrowing Constitutional Designs: Constitutional Law in Weimar Germany and the French Fifth Republic
Electing a president bears some similarity to electing a 26 See Douglas W. Rae, The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967), esp. pp. 114–25; Arend Lijphart, Electoral Systems and Party Systems: A Study of Twenty Seven Democracies, 1945–1990 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 21–46. 27 Majority formation is only one possible goal of electoral system design. Accurate reﬂection of minority parties in the legislature is another—often opposite—goal.
105–23. 24 Giovanni Sartori, Parties and Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976). 25 See Vernon Bogdanor, What Is Proportional Representation? A Guide to the Issues (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1984). 23 Constitutional Frameworks • 23 some countries prefer to give more equal representation to different political groups through PR. 26 The smaller the district magnitude, the smaller the number of seats available for distribution. Proportionality is thus reduced by “weeding out” some of the smaller parties from the legislature.
The unintended consequence may be extended military rule and the suspension of democracy, especially in countries with a history of military intervention in politics. The greater the president’s scope—particularly of decree, veto, and emergency powers—and the lower the limitations on these powers, the greater the possibility he will govern without the prime minister. 7 In constitutional dictatorship, the extended use of emergency and decree powers violates the democratic principles of inclusion and contestation.
Borrowing Constitutional Designs: Constitutional Law in Weimar Germany and the French Fifth Republic by Cindy Skach