Democratization

Democratization -...

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From Linz to Tsebelis: Three Waves of Presidential/Parliamentary Studies? Robert Elgie School of Law and Government Dublin City University Dublin 9 Ireland Tel. + 353 (0)1 700 5895 e-mail: robert.elgie.dcu.ie webpage: http://webpages.dcu.ie/~elgier/index.htm
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From Linz to Tsebelis: Three Waves of Presidential/Parliamentary Studies? Robert Elgie Summary The debate about the relative merits of presidentialism and parliamentarism  has a long history, but it was revived in 1990 with Juan Linz’s articles about  the supposed perils of presidentialism and the virtues of parliamentarism.  The argument presented in this review is that we are now witnessing a ‘third  wave’ of presidential/parliamentary studies since 1990. The ‘first wave’  began with Linz’s articles. It was characterised by a debate in which there  was one explanatory variable (the regime type) and one dependent variable  (the   success   of   democratic   consolidation).   The   ‘second   wave’   of  presidential/parliamentary studies began around 1992-93. In the ‘second  wave’ there is more than one explanatory variable (the regime type, usually,  plus   the   party   system   and/or   leadership   powers)   and   often   a   different  dependent   variable   (‘good   governance’   as   opposed   to   democratic  consolidation). The ‘third wave’ is quite different. This work is informed by  more general theories of political science. Here, the respective merits of 
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presidential and parliamentary regimes are not necessarily the sole focus of  the work. However, its overarching approach informs the debate in this area  in a more or less direct manner. The argument in this review article is that  the ‘third wave’ of studies has much to offer the ongoing debate about the  relative merits of presidentialism and parliamentarism. The   debate   about   the   relative   merits   of   presidentialism   and   parliamentarism   has  continued for more than a century. So, for example, writing in the latter part of the 19 th  century, Walter Bagehot and Woodrow Wilson both argued in favour of parliamentarism.  1  During the Second World War there was heated debate in the US, during which Don  Price defended presidentialism and Harold Laski acted as an external moderator arguing,  in a typically passionate manner, that neither system was intrinsically better than the  other. 2
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This document was uploaded on 10/27/2011 for the course POLISCI 1002 at GWU.

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Democratization -...

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