Must-Read: Juan Linz’s “The Perils of Presidentialism” is a rather good analysis of Richard Nixon and his situation, but a rather bad analysis of. Juan Linz and Presidentialism. The recent debate over the merits of presidential democracy was sparked by Juan Linz’s essay “Presidential or Parliamentary. Linz’s analysis focuses on the structural problems of presidentialism. Unlike Shugart/Carey (), Linz does not differentiate among different.

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Perhaps someday I can turn editing back on again. Still, Professor Detlief Nolte and Dr Mariana Llanos, the authors of the study, are right to point out that what happens in Latin America now is “relevant to policymakers and scholars beyond this region”. Presidential or Parliamentary Democracy: And in other European countries such as Poland, or the Czech Republic which only recently introduced direct elections for its presidency, frequent clashes between governments and presidents are the staple fare for all politicians, and take more time than debating new legislation.

Ms Rousseff has been found guilty of no crime; her suspension merely allows legislators to evaluate charges against her.

The perils of ‘presidentialism’, Opinion News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, aged 90 and chosen only by Parliament, proved to be the only person with sufficient authority to manage his country’s domestic political meltdown over the past few years.

The Brazilian crisis is a classic example of what happens when the vanity and incompetence of politicians collides with the reality of a poorly written Constitution.

Initially, the site was an editable wiki like Wikipedia. The saddest current example of a similar clash between Parliament and a directly elected president is, of course, Venezuela. Nevertheless, it is striking that European states in which heads of state have limited powers and are not elected or are elected indirectly have tended to do better in handling national crises. It is now a static website.

Still, her defiance came to nothing: Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. A recent study from the German Institute for Global and Area Studies concludes that the problems of strong “presidentialism” in Latin America are here to stay; “the probability of a blanket change to parliamentary democracy is close to zero”, claims the report. Prime ministers are invariably used as scapegoats for Petils presidents and, as presidentizlism result, they either plot how to become presidents themselves, or try to discredit the president instead.


There are examples when a ceremonial but directly elected head of state works very well with an all-powerful parliamentary government: When presidents and prime ministers belong to different parties, France is often in the awkward position of being represented by two people at eprils European Union meetings.

And Greeks perilw congratulate themselves for having a president who is not directly elected; given the country’s terrible economic conditions, direct elections for a Greek head of state would have resulted in the rise of an extremist populist, precisely what is happening in another European country, Austria. Prof Linz observed that most of the stable regimes in Europe and Britain’s former colonies around the world are parliamentary systems in presidentiapism the president performs just ceremonial duties and is therefore not elected directly, but chosen indirectly through some parliamentary procedure.

In short, Brazil’s first woman president lost office as a result of political manoeuvring, one made worse by a faulty constitutional system. Does it make a difference?.

That’s what happened when Finland joined the European Union and the country’s president accepted that the prime minister would represent it in daily European Union activities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23,with the headline ‘The perils of ‘presidentialism”.

It is tempting to argue that Brazil is an isolated case; in neighbouring Argentina, an equally vast Latin American country, power was recently transferred from one directly elected president to another smoothly. Prof Linz cautioned Latin America against ignoring this model and going instead for a directly elected powerful presidency, because he believed that this would generate trouble with Parliaments, which will be competing for the same popular legitimacy.

And monarchies, which don’t elect a head of state at all, offer no automatic guarantee against bad governance either. Enter your search terms Submit search form. But the late Prof Linz’s warnings were prophetic. When I was in graduate school several years ago, my friends and I would routinely share our reading notes with one another.

Ultimately, Ms Rousseff fell because she was a poor communicator and proved incapable of engaging with her Congress. Retrieved from ” http: King Felipe VI is the only man with the legitimacy to keep Spain on a steady course, as the country staggered on without a government over the past six months, and now faces fresh elections.


Linz clearly favors parliamentarianism over presidentialism. At least half of Brazil’s legislators are suspected of corruption. He sees it as less risky. She forgot that, regardless of the direct electoral mandate she enjoyed, the Brazilian Congress possessed another power copied from the US – that of being able to impeach her, to remove her from office. Two out of the 11 presidents chosen by the German Parliament since World War II had to resign from office because their conduct was called into question.

Ireland is such a case. It was then that Professor Juan Linz, a distinguished Latin American expert and political science academic at Yale University, wrote his seminal works, warnings against “the perils of presidentialism”.

The lesson seems to be that directly elected strong presidencies imply long-term constitutional changes which are often unpredictable, and frequently unwelcome. Candidates for such ceremonial presidencies have little to say during their electoral campaigns apart, perhaps, from promising to cut ribbons in a better way than their opponents.

The perils of ‘presidentialism’

I found that the only edits came from spambots, though, so I eventually turned off the editing peril. Sadly, however, that’s the exception rather than the rule, for the reality is that periks many other Latin American countries, the clash over “hyper-presidentialism”, between all-powerful presidents and resentful Parliaments, is endemic.

One would have thought that a country which has experienced six Constitutions and three military coups in one century would be extra careful about distributing political power, but Brazil’s current Constitution gives the nation’s president huge prerogatives: His was an undiplomatic but understandable admission of frustration, shared by many in Latin America.

Although he recognizes that not all of the problems he identifies apply to every presidential regime, he leaves an opening for attacking his argument by not differentiating more clearly among different sub-types.

But the Brazilian episode is of greater significance. The fact that the leader of the world’s seventh-biggest economy could be pushed out of office oresidentialism this way is noteworthy in itself.