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Presidentialism Reconsidered: The Relevance of an Old Debate

Reilly, B. (2013) Presidentialism Reconsidered: The Relevance of an Old Debate. Ethnopolitics, 12 (1). pp. 82-85.

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This article takes us back to scholarly debates that raged through the 1990s on the ‘perils of presidentialism’ for new democracies, and the suitability or otherwise of presidential democracy as a political system for ethnically divided societies. It shows convincingly that this debate remains relevant today, with so many ‘Third Wave’ democracies having chosen presidential systems as part of their constitutional arrangements. As the author notes, ‘the number of “basically open” regimes with a presidential form of government has been following a steady upward trend since 1976, and increased significantly from only nine in 1955 to 38 in 2007’. The article also provides a classification of presidential electoral systems over time that is very relevant to the debate on presidentialism and the risk of ethnic violence.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright: The Editor of Ethnopolitics
Notes: Published online: 10 December 2012 Ethnopolitics: Formerly Global Review of Ethnopolitics
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