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Beyond Presidentialism and Parliamentarism: Democratic Design and the Separation of Powers

Steffen Ganghof


In a democracy, a constitutional separation of powers between the executive and the assembly may be desirable, but the constitutional concentration of executive power in a single human being is not. The book defends this thesis and explores ‘semi-parliamentary government’ as an alternative to presidential government. Semi-parliamentarism avoids power concentration in one person by shifting the separation of powers into the democratic assembly. The executive becomes fused with only one part of the assembly, even though the other part has at least equal democratic legitimacy and robust veto powe ... More

Keywords: presidential government, parliamentary government, semi-parliamentary government, separation of powers, executive personalism, bicameralism, constitutional design, democratic theory, patterns of democracy, Australia

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780192897145
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780192897145.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steffen Ganghof, author
Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Potsdam