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Semi-presidentialism and Democratic Performance


There is a long-standing and widespread consensus that semi-presidentialism is bad for democratic performance. This article examines whether there is empirical evidence to support the arguments against semi-presidentialism. Examining countries that are incompletely consolidated and yet are not autocratic, we identify the relationship between democratic performance and the three main arguments against semi-presidentialism – the strength of the presidency, cohabitation, and divided minority government. We find that there is a strong and negative association between presidential power and democratic performance, but that cohabitation and divided minority government do not have the negative consequences that the literature predicts.

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Japanese Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 1468-1099
  • EISSN: 1474-0060
  • URL: /core/journals/japanese-journal-of-political-science
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