But the political developments of the following decades did not corroborate his sceptical view. Certainly, a few of them are regarded as consolidating democracies, while most classify as defective democracies. In these two cases the presidents face an adverse majority in Congress: in Brazil, Congress is using the constitutional mechanism of impeachment to oust President Rousseff, while in Venezuela President Maduro is manipulating the rules of the decision-making process to disempower a confrontational Congress dominated by his political opponents. The impeachment resembles previous presidential crises during the third wave in which presidents have had to leave power before finishing their constitutionally fixed mandates under the pressure of unfavourable majorities in congress and often also protests in the streets. Where the president has left power, though, democracy has persisted. The Venezuelan case, in contrast, more closely resembles the auto-golpe solutions such as that in Peru in , which saw congress unilaterally closed by the executive and the democratic regime break down.

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Most recently, he analysed the structural deficits of Latin American presidentialism together with his colleague Dr. Mariana Llanos. Zuletzt analysierte er zusammen mit seiner Kollegin Dr. Juan Linz stimulated a broad intellectual debate about the virtues of parliamentarism and the perils of presidentialism including models of semi-presidentialism.

In a sense, we need more rather than less presidentialism in Europe, at least if this is understood in the proper American way, in which legislative and executive powers are separately legitimated and equally strong. Although the "young reformers" knew the democratic ABC better, they too regarded the rapid transition to a market economy as a priority and supported therefore a strong "presidentialism".

Latin American presidentialism is like a chameleon: it changes its colours in response to its political environment. But it is still the same political animal. Russia must remain for decades or perhaps centuries a presidential Republic in order to survive as a unified state. The intrinsic risks of presidentialism as well as the Latin American political and institutional innovations to cope with them are relevant for policymakers and scholars beyond this region.

But the apparent contradiction is resolved, if one with good reasons supposes that the two leaders [Duumviren] see in steadying "presidentialism" really the first and very best guarantee of consolidating the system, also and especially in view of the current economic crisis. In the constitutional practice, however, the flirting with the "presidentialism" favoured the actual emergence of an authoritarian system, and impaired at the same time the development of a democratic infrastructure.

Despite repeated rhetoric support of a party pluralism one pays homage to the fetish of "presidentialism" without checks and counterbalances and nourishes thus the idea of an unchanging balance of power. The Perils of Presidentialism In his renowned article, Juan Linz began with the observation that most of the stable democracies of Europe and the Commonwealth at that time were parliamentary regimes, while presidential regimes were either authoritarian or unstable.

This variant of Latin American presidentialism therefore demonstrates that coalitions are possible in presidential democracies, minority presidents are not necessarily weak, and a logic of confrontation does not always prevail in the inter-branch relations of presidential systems.

Venezuela: The Authoritarian Face of Presidentialism After the government of Venezuelan president Maduro was defeated in the legislative elections in December , the governmental majority in the outgoing Congress enhanced the partisan control of the Supreme Court and appointed 13 new judges by blatantly violating the constitution. As Sergio Abranches, who once coined the concept of "coalition presidentialism," has put it, the impeachment is not a judicial process, but a political process within the procedural framework established by the constitution.

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The Virtues of Parliamentarism

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The Many Faces of Latin American Presidentialism





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