This book addresses the following question: why are presidential democracies more likely to break down than parliamentary ones? Conventional wisdom among political scientists pointS to the incentives generated by the form of government itself; the independence of the executive and legislature that defines presidentialism generates incentives that are not conducive to the consolidation of democracy. On the basis of a data set that covers all democracies between 1946 and 2002, this book demonstrates that this is not the case: the incentives generated by presidentialism are as conducive to the consolidation of democracy as the ones generated by parliamentarism. The book argues that what kills presidentialism is the fact that it exists in countries where democracies of any type are not likely to survive. This book will be of interest to academic researchers, graduates and advanced undergraduates enrolled in courses on comparative politics and political economy.
• Relevant for those involved in the process of writing new constitutions • Uses a large and systematic data set, covering all regimes that have existed between 1946 and 2002 • Addresses one of the issues that have been central for institutional analysis and comparative politics: impact of the form of government on survival of democracy
1. Introduction; 2. Presidential, parliamentary, and mixed democracies; 3. Are the incentives for coalition formation different in parliamentary and presidential democracies?; 4. Are coalitions rare in presidential democracies?; 5. Party discipline and form of government; 6. What makes presidential democracies fragile?; 7. Conclusion.