Semi-presidentialism in Central and Eastern Europe

Edited by Robert Elgie and Sophie Moestrup

Semi-presidentialism in Central and Eastern Europe


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7535-3
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: September 2008
  • BIC Category: Economics, finance, business & management / Trade unions, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, Comparative politics, Trade unions, Politics


This book examines the extent to which semi-presidentialism has affected the process of democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe since the early 1990s. The standard academic wisdom is that semi-presidentialism, where there is both a directly elected president and a prime minister who is responsible for the legislature, is a risky choice for nascent democracies because of the in-built potential for conflict between the president and the prime minister. This book demonstrates that semi-presidential regimes can operate in quite different ways, some with very strong presidents, some with strong prime ministers and ceremonial presidents, and some with a balance of presidential and prime ministerial powers. In particular, the book analyses the specific impact of the various forms of semi-presidentialism that can be found in Central and Eastern Europe. With chapters on Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, the book explores whether some forms of semi-presidentialism are more conducive to democratization than others. It also looks at how semi-presidentialism may have helped democracy to survive and examines its impact on government performance in terms of stability and policy-making.


Robert Elgie is Professor of Government and International Studies in the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University. Sophia Moestrup is Senior Program Manager at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in Washington DC


List of tables
1. Semi-presidentialism: a common regime type, but one that should be avoided? - Robert Elgie and Sophia Moestrup
2. Belarus: a case of unsuccessful semi-presidentialism (1994-1996) - Andrei Arkadyev
3. Semi-presidentialism in Bulgaria: the cyclical rise of informal powers and individual political ambitions in a 'dual executive' - Svetlozar A. Andreev
4. Semi-presidentialism in Croatia - Mirjana Kasapovic
5. Semi-presidentialism in Lithuania: origins, development and challenges - Algis Krupavicius
6. Semi-presidentialism in the Republic of Macedonia (former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) - François Frison-Roche
7. The impact of party fragmentation on Moldovan semi-presidentialism - Steven D. Roper
8. Semi-presidentialism and democratisation in Poland - Iain McMenamin
9. Romania: political irresponsibility without constitutional safeguards - Tom Gallagher and Viorel Andrievici
10. Russia: the benefits and perils of presidential leadership - Petra Schleiter and Edward Morgan-Jones
11. Slovakia's presidency: consolidating democracy by curbing ambiguous powers - Darina Malová and Marek Rybár
12. Slovenia: weak formal position, strong informal influence? - Alenka Krasovec and Damjan Lajh
13. Ukraine: presidential power, veto strategies and democratisation - Sarah Birch
14. The impact of semi-presidentialism on the performance of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe - Robert Elgie and Sophia Moestrup

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