Advocates of parliamentary rule have been highly critical of presidentialism for dividing powers and providing the opportunity for gridlock between branches. Fixed executive terms can saddle publics with ineffectual leaders who are not easily removed. Yet the great theorists of presidential rule, beginning with the Federalists, saw very different qualities in the same institutions: a desirable combination of strong leadership with checks on executive discretion. These diverse assessments arise because we have surprisingly little comparative work on how presidential democracies function. The introductory essays in this volume lay the theoretical groundwork for such comparative analysis. Drawing on detailed cases of economic policymaking in Asia, Latin America, and Central Europe, this book shows the diversity of presidential systems and isolates the effects of presidentialism from other factors that influence public policy, such as party systems. In doing so, it casts doubt on the critics of presidential rule and underscores the continuing vitality of this particular form of democratic rule.
• One of the first books to provide a theoretical and comparative analysis of policymaking in federal systems • Looks at recently democratized countries in both Latin America and East Europe, plus countries in Asia • Looks across issue areas, at regulation, budgeting, and state-owned enterprise reform
1. Introduction: political institutions and the determinants of public policy Stephan Haggard and Mathew D. McCubbins; Part I. Theory: 2. The institutional determinants of economic policy outcomes Gary W. Cox and Mathew D. McCubbins; 3. Institutions and public policy in presidential systems Matthew S. Shugart and Stephan Haggard; Part II. Budgetary Policy Cases: 4. Budget procedure and fiscal restraint in post-transition Chile Lisa Baldez and John M. Carey; 5. Political institutions and public policy in Argentina: an overview of the formation and execution of the National Budget Mark P. Jones; 6. Democracy and deficits in Taiwan: the politics of fiscal policy, 1986–96 Tun-jen Cheng and Stephan Haggard; Part III. Regulatory Policy Cases: 7. Political institutions and economic development: the case of electric utility regulation in Argentina and Chile William B. Heller and Mathew D. McCubbins; 8. Power politics: elections and electricity regulation in Taiwan Stephan Haggard and Gregory W. Noble; 9. Privatization in transition economies: politics as usual? Philip Keefer and Mary Shirley; 10. Conclusion: policymaking in presidential systems Stephan Haggard, Mathew D. McCubbins and Matthew Shugart.
'Presidents, Parliaments, and Policy constitutes a major contribution to the rich field of comparative political economy and the contribution of institutional design and constitutional engineering to effective democratic governance. It is an essential reading for all those policy makers and researchers seeking to understand how institutions and incentives shape economic policy in presidential systems.' Democratization