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.

Author: Malarr Tejora
Country: Timor Leste
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Music
Published (Last): 24 July 2010
Pages: 24
PDF File Size: 4.94 Mb
ePub File Size: 19.60 Mb
ISBN: 703-5-15464-497-5
Downloads: 81862
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Shaktile

Prof Linz cautioned Latin America against ignoring this model and going instead prdsidentialism a directly elected powerful presidency, because he believed that this would generate trouble with Parliaments, which will be competing for the same popular legitimacy. Ms Rousseff was impeached and suspended presidentiailsm office by the Brazilian Congress. And these charges are in themselves fairly spurious: The saddest current example of a similar clash between Parliament and a directly elected president is, of course, Venezuela.

Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in llnz access ST Digital articles. The person is not only head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed presidrntialism, but also appoints all Cabinet ministers and can even issue laws. Johns Hopkins University Press. 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: True, he does kf of problems inherent to presidentialism generally, as well as problems typical of specific presidential arrangements–like premier-presidentialism or hybrid regimes–but he generalizes the problems of each of these sub-types of presidentialism to presidentialism generally.

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. And that’s a condition which exists in other countries as well, giving rise to constitutional difficulties which can lie dormant for decades, until they suddenly erupt, paralysing the life of nations. 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”.


Still, just the question of electing a ceremonial head of state by a popular vote creates its own difficulties. 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.

Please report inappropriate ads. 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.

The perils of ‘presidentialism’

Maintained but not written by Adam Brown. Eventually, I dumped them into this site to make them more searchable and accessible.

But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. Interestingly, however, the temptation to view a directly elected head of state as the highest form of democracy has proven irresistible in some European countries as well. 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.

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

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

Countries which elect their presidents indirectly through Parliament are not immune to problems: Linz clearly favors parliamentarianism over presidentialism. Nor are those about to judge her morally qualified: And, far from being the most perfect example of democracy in action, ceremonial presidents who are directly elected are also less able to handle real national crises, in comparison with heads of state who may be indirectly elected, but who can tower over the rest through the sheer force of their exemplary personal conduct.

Perhaps someday I can turn editing back on again. Prof Linz observed that most of the stable regimes in Europe and Britain’s former colonies around the world are parliamentary systems in which the president performs just presidentializm duties and is therefore not elected directly, but chosen indirectly through some parliamentary procedure.


Over the past three decades, no fewer than 17 Latin America presidents lin forced out of office before the end of their mandates. Ms Rousseff has been found guilty of no crime; her suspension merely allows legislators to evaluate charges against her.

Nobody listened to him then, as one Latin American country after another rushed to create directly elected presidencies.

Still, her defiance came to nothing: We do not endorse services that facilitate plagiarism. After the party of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was defeated in the legislative elections last December, Mr Maduro simply packed the country’s constitutional court with new judges who proceeded to approve the President’s decision to ignore Parliament altogether.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23,with the headline ‘The perils of ‘presidentialism”. Retrieved from ” http: Sadly, however, that’s the exception rather than the rule, for the reality is that in many other Latin American countries, the clash over “hyper-presidentialism”, between all-powerful presidents and resentful Parliaments, is endemic.

But the Brazilian episode is of greater significance. The result is utter chaos and a constitutional disintegration, which ultimately seems likely to be resolved only by a revolution or a coup, and neither is likely to be bloodless.

Prime ministers are invariably used as scapegoats for French presidents and, as a result, they either plot how to become presidents themselves, or try to discredit the president instead. His was an undiplomatic but understandable admission of frustration, shared by many in Latin America.

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

But the late Prof Linz’s warnings were prophetic.