TYPES AND EFFECTS OF EUROPEAN SEMI-PRESIDENTIALISM BASED ON THE FEATURES OF DUALISM, PARTY AFFILIATION AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EXECUTIVE, AND THE COMPOSITION OF LEGISLATURES

Vytaliy S. LYTVYN [a] [b] (ORCID iD : https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9395-3761)

Anatoliy S. ROMANIUK [a] (ORCID iD : https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7356-6433)


Analele Universității din București. Științe Politice [Annals of the University of Bucharest. Political Science series]

Vol. XXIII, Issue 1, pp. 87-116

https://doi.org/10.54885/JWZP6920 | Download PDF

[a] Department of Political Science, "Ivan Franko" National University of Lviv, Ukraine

[b] Corresponding author: vitaliy.lytvyn@lnu.edu.ua

ABSTRACT

This article explores types of European semi-presidentialism and outlines the powers of political institutions and actors and the peculiarities of relations between them in the triangle president–prime minister/cabinet–parliament. Semi-presidentialism can be embodied in the forms of both unified or divided, as well as majority or minority systems and their derivatives. Accordingly, the logics, functionality and dynamics of European semi-presidentialism depend both on constitutional norms, as well as political practice. The research also focuses on the updated and expanded taxonomy of semi-presidentialism based on the peculiarities of dualism, party affiliation, responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures. In particular, we argued that semi-presidentialism should be classified within the logics of the fully or partly unified majority systems, fully or partly unified minority systems, divided majority systems and divided minority systems, which provide various political implications.

Keywords: semi-presidentialism, executive dualism, party affiliation, responsibility of the executive, composition of legislature, unified and divided systems, majority and minority systems

FULL TEXT

Introduction

Most political scientists agree with Elgie (1999, 13) that semi-presidential systems of government are constitutionally characterized by the presence of the institutions of a president popularly elected for a fixed term, as well as of a governmental cabinet headed by a prime minister and collectively responsible at least to the parliament (but possibly both to the parliament and the president). At the same time, it is also generally accepted that, traditionally, semi-presidentialism is a heterogeneous system (Elgie 1999, 13). On the one hand, semi-presidentialism is usually divided into president-parliamentarism, when the collective responsibility of the governmental cabinet belongs both to the president and the parliament, and premier-presidentialism, when the collective responsibility of governmental cabinet belongs exclusively to the parliament (Shugart & Carey 1992). On the other hand, semi-presidentialism is typically classified as presidentialized (i.e. where the president dominates over other institutions within the system of inter-institutional relations), parliamentarized (i.e. where the parliament and/or the governmental cabinet headed by the prime minister predominates in the system of inter-institutional relations), or balanced (i.e. where none of the political institutions prevails in the system of inter-institutional relations) (Elgie 2005, 102–109; Pasquino 2007, 16).

These types of semi-presidentialism are commonly stable within a particular constitutional and political system of government, since they depend exclusively or predominantly on the parameters of inter-institutional relations in the triangle president–prime minister/governmental cabinet–parliament, and/or partially on the type of political regimes (i.e. democratic, hybrid or autocratic ones). Semi-presidentialism can be additionally typologized in connection to political structures and relations, particularly based on party and electoral process, on the goals/objectives of the main actors or institutions in political system, as well as on the features of dualism, party affiliation and the responsibility of the executive, and the composition of legislatures/parliaments. This is possible because semi-presidentialism implies the coexistence of two centers of the executive power, i.e. the president and the prime minister, even if there is no specific institutional design. This article aims to discuss the construction of such a typologization of semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation and responsibility of the executive, and the composition of legislatures, and to explore how these apply to the European semi-presidential regimes, including through the prism of systemic, regime and political effects. With this goal in mind, the study proposes the following structure: (1) an overview of the state of the art, evolution and current conditions; (2) logics and options; and (3) the effects of the typologization of European semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation and responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures.

The specificity of this article is that it focuses exclusively on the constitutional meaning of semi-presidentialism, i.e. where a constitution includes a popularly elected fixed-term president and a prime minister and cabinet who are collectively responsible to the legislature (Elgie 1999, 13). This generates a large number of cases, including in Europe, regardless of their political regimes being democratic, hybrid or autocratic, especially since the types of political regimes are not the definitive categories and attributes of semi-presidentialism. The reason is that political regimes are not the parameters of constitutional systems of government, but they are rather their political causes, attributes and effects, even though the relationship between them is not always a causal one. In other words, it means that we should not use semi-presidentialism as an explanatory variable, since a very varied set of countries have semi-presidential constitutions, including in Europe. Instead, we should distinguish between different sub-types of semi-presidentialism and explore their effects (Elgie 2011a, 27; Sedelius & Linde 2018, 137), including partly within different types of political regimes. Accordingly, along with the commonplace constructions of taxonomies of semi-presidentialism based on the diversity of its institutional attributes, the parameters of collective responsibility of governmental cabinets and the powers of major political institutions, a completely separate place should be given to the need to distinguish types of semi-presidentialism (as a whole within a common definitive denominator) depending purely on political, party and electoral factors of structuring inter-institutional relations, which are also regulated by the features of dualism, party affiliation and responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures.


Types of semi-presidentialism in the current literature

Political science literature on semi-presidentialism has been developing significantly during the last decades. A major thread within it is the idea that dualism and the constitutional ambiguity of the executive, as well as the legitimacy and responsibility of the two centers of the executive, i.e. the president and the prime minister, are significantly different under conditions of semi-presidentialism. The main reason is that the prime minister and the governmental cabinet are necessarily dependent on the procedures of delegation of powers conferred by the parliament and they are responsible to the parliament, while the president is autonomous from the legislative body and can act without its support. Such autonomy for the president establishes certain stimuli and reactions for the head of state, who can form and propose their own actions, even if there are mechanisms that also involve the powers of the prime minister and of the governmental cabinet. Accordingly, the tense political relations between the president, the prime minister and the parliament within the framework of semi-presidentialism are unconditional, as they are caused by the political and institutional structures of this system of government. That is why they should be considered constant, typologically relevant, and empirically verified, as well as updated if possible.

Scholars such as Duverger (1980), Sartori (1997), Pasquino (1997), Martinez (1999) and Frison-Roche (2005) initially reflected on a solution to these puzzles in the following manner. They launched their analysis concerning the “placement” of the institutions of the president and of the governmental cabinet/prime minister within the settings of distribution of powers and responsibilities in the executive, and within the composition of parties and personnel in legislatures. For example, Duverger (1986, 186) and Sartori (1997), considering whether presidents and prime ministers/governmental cabinets enjoy the support of the majority or the minority in legislatures, singled out semi-presidential systems as unified (undivided) and divided (non-unified) government, as well as some of their features. Correspondingly, Pasquino (1997) divided all cases of semi-presidentialism into systems of support and non-support of presidents in legislatures, and then they singled out different potential scenarios. Martinez (1999) and Frison-Roche (2005) approached the task somewhat more structurally and identified options of semi-presidentialism based on the structures of support or non-support of presidents in parliaments and the composition of governmental cabinets. However, Skach (2005a; 2005b; 2007) and Garrido (2009) have further developed this issue and noted that types of semi-presidentialism depend on the support or non-support of presidents in legislatures and not only on their composition, but also on different types of governmental cabinets (mainly majority or minority ones). Therefore, in the literature, the most researched versions of semi-presidentialism are the undivided (unified) majority, the divided (non-unified) majority and the divided (non-unified) minority systems. These versions have been considered for a long time as fundamental in the typologization of semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation and responsibility of the executive, and the composition of legislatures (Lytvyn 2019).

In this regard, it should be noted that, as the least contentious or the most stable option of semi-presidentialism, the undivided (unified) majority system allows for a situation in which the head of state (president) can be a member or supporter of the prime minister’s party, and both the president and the prime minister /governmental cabinet are supported by an identical parliamentary majority. This case and type of semi-presidentialism can be described by the procedures of “full power” or successive change (alternation) of the representatives of different parties in power. Traditionally (but not necessarily, as this depends on the inter-party and intra-party structuring of political process), it suggests that either the president or the prime minister is perceived as the undisputed leader of the nation. Then again, as a moderately conflictual or moderately stable option of semi-presidentialism, in the divided (non-unified) majority system, the head of state (president) is not endowed with the support of parliamentary majority or majority in legislature, unlike the prime minister and the governmental cabinet as a whole. This case and type of semi-presidentialism is characterized by the procedures of cohabitation, with the most important executive decisions traditionally (but not necessarily, depending on the inter-party and intra-party structuring of political process) being taken by the prime minister. Finally, as the potentially most conflictual or the least stable option of semi-presidentialism, the divided (non-unified) minority system implies that neither president nor prime minister have a stable support of parliamentary majority or majority in legislature, and they are political opponents. Such a case and type of semi-presidentialism combines the attributes of the most problematic model of presidentialism (i.e. the divided system) with the most problematic model of parliamentarism (i.e. the system of minority government), in which the president is distanced from parliament and prime minister, and the legislature is internally divided and highly factionalized (Skach 2007).

The peculiarity of this taxonomy of semi-presidentialism is that it is volatile, as it can shift from one version to another regardless of the changes and even within the identical framework of certain constitutional powers of political actors/institutions in the triangle president–prime minister/governmental cabinet–parliament. This is closely related to political processes, the specificities of electoral systems and the results of presidential and parliamentary elections, party affiliation of the two centers of the executive and party or political composition of the governmental cabinets and of the parliaments (Skach 2005b; Skach 2007). This situation led to theorizing that political and inter-institutional relations among the president, the prime minister, the cabinet and the parliament (i.e. parliamentary/cabinet majority or minority in the legislature) do not depend as much on a certain formal structure and type of semi-presidentialism (the constitutional scope of powers of the political actors and of the parameters of the relations among them), but rather on the factual context (the attitude of the president towards the majority or the minority within the legislature, and the nature of such a majority or minority in legislature, in particular in connection to the composition of the governmental cabinet).


Overview of the attributes, variations and types of semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation, responsibility of the executive and the composition of the legislature

Attempts to typologize semi-presidentialism in connection to the features of dualism, party affiliation, the responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures reveal several difficulties. First, scholars researching the topic do not fully typify different variations of the unified majority, divided majority and divided minority systems. This is evident when the three versions of semi-presidentialism briefly discussed in the previous section are presented in the manner we systematize them in Table 1.


Table 1. Hypothetical attributes and variations of the unified majority, divided majority and divided minority systems as separate types of semi-presidentialism (PDF)


Second, the types and variations of semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation, responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures previously discussed do not fully satisfy theoretical and methodological assumptions about the diversification of the types of semi-presidentialism into the unified majority systems or the unified minority systems and, respectively, the divided majority systems or the divided minority systems. All these categories are summarized in Table 2.


Table 2. The matrix of the generalized types of semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation and responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures (PDF)


In short, the taxonomy of semi-presidentialism is incomplete. For instance, there are such variations of semi-presidentialism when neither the president nor the prime minister has a stable support of parliamentary majority, but both the president and the prime minister are from an identical party, are associated with an identical party or are political associates/allies for each other.

A case illustrating this point is semi-presidential Romania between May 2010 and February 2012. At that time there was a coalitional minority cabinet headed by E. Boc and composed of the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR). The head of state was T. Băsescu, affiliated with the PDL. This centrist coalitional cabinet relied on the support of only 153 (of 334 nominally) deputies of the Romanian legislature. These 153 MPs belonged to the three parties forming the coalition. At the same time, the majority of the deputies in the legislature were nominally opposed to both the president and the prime minister, but were unable to form a different format of governmental cabinet due to even greater disputes among them (Table 3 for details).

A similar situation and political construction of semi-presidentialism has occurred repeatedly in Romania, particularly during the mandates of president E. Constantinescu and prime minister V. Ciorbea between January and March 1998, of president I. Iliescu and prime minister A. Năstase between December 2000 and June 2003, and of president T. Băsescu and prime minister C. Popescu-Tăriceanu between December 2004 and April 2007. These presidents and prime ministers were not political enemies of each other, but in the first two cases they were members of the same party, while in the latter, they belonged to different parties within a common minority government coalition.


Table 3. The features of dualism, party affiliation, responsibility of the executive and the composition of parliament under the presidency of T. Băsescu and the premiership of E. Boc in Romania (2010–2012) (PDF)


Similar cases of semi-presidentialism have also occurred in other European countries, particularly in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Finland, France, Georgia, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and, conditionally, in Ukraine (for details see Table 5 and Table 6 in the Appendices at the end of this article).

In short, there is empirical ground to call these cases as a separate group of the unified (undivided) minority systems within semi-presidentialism. In addition, European political practice shows that the unified minority systems are not necessarily characterized by more intensive conflict in the system of the executive dualism than the divided majority and divided minority systems. The point is that such variations of semi-presidentialism tend to be inherent in consensual democracies, where the structures of minority governmental cabinets, in particular of their formal, but not substantive type (Strøm 1990), are usually stereotyped and institutionalized. Accordingly, the unified minority systems (in addition to the situations when presidential and/or prime-ministerial positions may be non-party or may be only associated with certain parties) can be presented in the manner used in Table 4.


Table 4. Hypothetical attributes and variations of the unified minority system as a separate type of semi-presidentialism (PDF)


Table 5 in the Appendices offers examples of these variations of the unified minority system as a separate type of semi-presidentialism in European countries. It follows from this list that variation 1 of the (fully) unified minority system is represented by the situations where presidents and prime ministers belong to identical parties or electoral blocs, which independently or within coalitions form and compose the ministerial configuration of single-party or coalitional minority governmental cabinets. Variation 2 of the (partly) unified minority system corresponds to the situations where presidents belong to one party or electoral bloc and prime ministers belong to another one, but both the presidential and the prime ministerial parties form single-party or coalitional minority governmental cabinets. Variation 3 of the (partly) unified minority system is characterized by the fact that presidents belong to parties or electoral blocs that participate in the formation, support, functioning and distribution of ministerial positions in single-party or coalitional minority governmental cabinets. However, the prime ministers of such governmental cabinets are non-partisan, although they do not usually confront presidents. Variation 4 of the (partly) unified minority system is similar in this sense, but it occurs mainly in times of political crisis. This option is characterized by the presence of party or party-affiliated presidents and, in parallel, acting prime ministers who head interim and mainly non-party governmental cabinets in a situation of a regulated approximation to early parliamentary elections (as a means of resolving political crises). At the same time, such governmental cabinets quite often resemble majority governmental cabinets by the nature of their parliamentary support but the consent of the parliamentary majority in this context is only motivated by the need of holding early parliamentary elections. In contrast, variation 5 of the (partly) unified minority system is controversial. This option is represented by situations in which the presidents are nominally or factually non-partisan, and they are by no means the “enemies” of the prime ministers who head single-party or coalition minority governmental cabinets. The PMs, in addition, act as “partners” or “agents” of presidents (in particular, due to their extreme weakness or extreme influence, respectively). Finally, variation 6 of the (fully or partly) unified minority system is extremely rare, since it usually applies to undemocratic political regimes. However, theoretically it may be present in democracies too. This option is the situation in which formally and factually non-party presidents coexist with formally and factually non-party prime ministers, in predominantly non-party parliaments and mainly non-party governmental cabinets, usually subordinated to powerful presidents.

This means that the theoretical and methodological logics of separating the unified majority, divided majority, and divided minority systems, respectively, as types of semi-presidentialism is correct but incomplete. More comprehensive typologies must consider the unified minority systems. The issue of the newly separated fully or partly unified minority systems and minority systems in general as (new) types of semi-presidentialism deserves special attention for future research, especially in relation to their characteristics, the effectiveness of decision-making, the inclusiveness of political processes and the correlation between political stability and democracy/autocracy scores. The structures and levels (fully or partly) of unification in the conditions of the majority and minority systems must also be considered. That is why we propose that semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation, responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures be classified for research purposes as fully or partly unified majority systems, fully or partly unified minority systems, divided majority systems and divided minority systems.


Effects of European types of semi-presidentialism

The logic of different types of semi-presidentialism is relevant because, also in combination with other taxonomies such as those briefly presented in the Introduction, it can effectively trace several consequences of the systems of government, mostly on matters regarding their prevalence, stability, and potential conflicts, as well as in connection with different types of political regimes. In Table 6 (at the end of the article) we present a synopsis of our observations in relation to cases of semi-presidentialism in European countries, with a focus on the period from the constitutional choice of semi-presidentialism until the end of 2017. Our overview indicates that the most frequent cases are the fully unified majority systems. Less frequent cases are the partly unified majority systems and fully unified minority systems, while the divided majority systems are much rarer. The rarest cases are the partly unified minority systems and divided minority systems. At the same time much more common are: the majority, but not the minority systems; the systems of unified, but not divided government; the fully unified, but not the partly unified systems; the divided majority, but not the divided minority systems. The most stable cases are the fully unified majority systems, somewhat less stable are the partly unified majority and divided majority systems, and the least stable cases are the fully or partly unified minority systems and divided minority systems. Much more stable are the majority, but not the minority systems, and relatively more stable are: the systems of unified, but not divided government; the fully unified, but not the partly unified systems; the divided majority, but not the divided minority systems. In short, the frequency and stability of different cases and variations of inter-institutional relations within diverse types of semi-presidentialism based on features of dualism, party affiliation, responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures are primarily driven by the greater uniformity/unity of the latter, as well as, to a lesser extent, by the degree to which a majority may be achieved in legislatures.

Different types of European constitutional semi-presidentialism have also distinctive consequences on the level of democracy (democratization) or autocracy (autocratization). In particular, we found that the most democratic cases typically are the fully unified minority systems, somewhat less democratic cases are the partly unified minority, divided minority and divided majority systems, while the least democratic / the most autocratic cases are the fully and partly unified majority systems. This suggests that democracies and democratization in European semi-presidential countries are facilitated by: the minority, but not the majority systems of government; the systems of divided, but not unified government; the fully unified and partly unified systems equally; the divided majority and divided minority systems equally (Lytvyn 2019). This confirms previous observations that the divided majority (cohabitation) and divided minority systems correlate with much higher, than theoretically expected, indicators of the quality and level of democracy, and thus with much lower risks of autocratization, without, nonetheless, eliminating the risks for the stability or survival of democracies (Elgie 2011c; Kim 2015). Then again, each of the analyzed types of semi-presidentialism manifests differently in practice, and therefore affects the indicators of democracy (democratization) / autocracy (autocratization) in different ways. Moreover, correlations between the types of semi-presidentialism discussed here and the types of political regimes are not necessarily causal. Rather, they aresolely reflections on their frequency.

The existing literature and our own research converge on the fact that the divided majority and the divided minority systems (especially if accompanied by effective political management) may not be determined by undemocratic political regimes, unstable democratic political practices and they may not necessarily reduce the prospects for democratization, especially in consolidated polities (Elgie 2008b; Elgie 2011b; Kim 2015; Schleiter & Morgan-Jones 2009). This conclusion is especially valuable in the context in which the divided majority and divided minority systems are positioned and perceived as maximally close to the theorizations of dual/dualized executive, which promotes party and political incoherence/incongruence, broad political and ideological representation and consensus, flexibility, checks, balances and political responsibility, albeit by delaying and slowing down political and administrative decision-making processes (Holmes 1993; Pasquino 1997; Sartori 1997, 94). At the same time, it was argued that not all types of semi-presidentialism within the proposed taxonomy are equally applicable to all types of political regimes. For example, the divided (majority and minority) government is empirically more likely in relatively more democratic regimes (e.g. Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Finland, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia). Alternatively, the unified government (especially the fully unified one) is more present in autocracies (e.g. Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, Turkey), as well as hybrid political regimes (e.g. Armenia, Georgia). However, since politicians may often seek to construct semi-presidentialism in the format of the fully or partly unified majority system, this type of semi-presidentialism is empirically present to varying degrees in all European countries, except for the Czech Republic (at least as of December 2017).

Especially during periods of divided (majority and minority) government and mainly within contexts of neopatrimonialism, military intervention in politics or initiation of civil dictatorships, the increase in the number and intensity of conflicts between presidents and prime ministers in the system of the executive dualism is highly likely to affect the fragility of recent democracies and trigger their autocratic rollback and reversal (Elgie 2008a; Jung-Hsiang 2009; Kirschke 2007; Linz 1994; Skach 2005a). Therefore, it should be generally argued that the problems of democracy, stability and efficiency of political regimes within semi-presidentialism as a constitutional system of government can be generated by the systems of both unified and divided government (Elgie 2007; Elgie 2010). The undemocratic and ineffective consequences of semi-presidentialism are not unconditional effects of cohabitations and of the divided minority systems, except in the cases of young democracies, especially cohabitation and the divided minority systems are present as intervening variables (Elgie & McMenamin 2008). Instead, they depend on many other factors. Institutional, procedural, political and behavioral factors, which cover the normative balance of dualization the power between president and parliament, and even political problems of coordinating the relations between them are extremely important in this context. Accordingly, the correlation of different types of semi-presidentialism and different types of political regime is derived from the understanding of the analyzed constitutional system of government as a kind of “pendulum”. The institutional productivity and “democracy-autocracy” dynamics of this “pendulum” depend on the attributes of the formal (normative) and factual reality, where cases of semi-presidentialism function (Jung-Hsiang 2009), but this dependency and correlation is still not causal.

In fact, checks and balances, scrutiny, constitutional flexibility and political (inter-institutional) integration overpass any potentially negative consequences of the divided majority and divided minority systems on their prospects for democracy and democratization (Kim 2015). In other words, the inter-institutional instability within some types of semi-presidentialism is not necessarily a worrying sign, since it can even contribute to the development and consolidation of democracy, although the topic needs to be researcher further, especially in recent democracies. This is consistent with the observation that political stability in general and the stability of democratic or autocratic regimes decrease or may decrease especially in systems of divided government (Elgie & Schleiter 2011). The systems of divided government do not necessarily lead to autocratization, in the short or the long run, and they can even contribute to democratization, which, however, is also affected by inter-institutional or even political instability (Elgie & McMenamin 2008). From this perspective, for example, the divided majority and divided minority systems are logically situated within a dichotomous continuum with the prospect for democratization on one side and the risk of destabilization, disintegration and collapse on the other. By analogy, this applies to the unified majority systems (and to a much lesser extent to the unified minority systems), which, on the one hand, are characterized by prospects for political and inter-institutional stabilization and improvement of the efficiency of governance, and, on the other hand, run the risk of autocratization and the “erosion” or deconsolidation of democracy.

In such a “constellation” of semi-presidentialism, it is important to consider institutional, procedural, political and behavioral incentives for the separation of powers, both in the system of the executive dualism and in the triangle president–prime minister/cabinet–parliament in general. If such incentives are sufficiently influential and effective, then they could increase prospects for democratization of semi-presidentialism as a constitutional system of government. Nevertheless, if such incentives are weak and ineffective, then they could increase the risk of autocratization of semi-presidentialism, even despite its stabilization. In other words, the relationship between the types of political regimes and political/inter-institutional stability (including democratic or autocratic survival) within various types of semi-presidentialism is not as clear and simple as it is theoretically expected. That is why there is still significant need for more empirical coverage, verification, and generalization beyond the examples of the European countries.


Conclusions

We proposed an analysis and a refinement of variants of semi-presidentialism, with a focus on the powers that political actors/institutions exercise and on the features of the relations among these actors/institutions within the triangle president–prime minister/cabinet–parliament. We discussed the institutions of the president and of the prime minister within the settings of the distribution of powers and responsibilities in the executive and political (party and personal) composition of legislatures. We noticed that semi-presidentialism as a constitutional system of government and regardless of the type of political regime can be represented both in the form of the systems of unified and divided government, as well as their variations and derivatives. Combined with the other elements and classifications of semi-presidentialism, these have different consequences. In particular, based on the types of governmental cabinets (mainly majority or minority), on the parameters of inter-party and intra-party relations and on the way in which the president or the presidential party is positioned in relation to the governmental cabinet, and whether that constitutes a majority or a minority in legislature, we argued that semi-presidentialism should be classified into: fully or partly unified majority systems, fully or partly unified minority systems, divided majority systems and divided minority systems. At the same time, we observed that semi-presidentialism as a constitutional system of government can move from one type to another.

We then compared the various consequences of different types of European semi-presidentialism and noticed that: on the one hand, the frequency and the stability of each type of semi-presidentialism is primarily driven by the greater uniformity/unity of the latter, as well as (to a lesser extent) by their attraction to the status of majority in legislatures; on the other hand, democracy and democratization in various semi-presidential countries are mainly present in minority, but not in majority systems, in the systems of divided, but not unified government, equally in the fully unified and partly unified systems, as well as in the divided majority and divided minority systems (although such a relationship is quite situational and purely empirical, but not necessarily systematic, nor causal). Within this context, we argued for the need to investigate each type of semi-presidentialism, in particular in connection to their stability and democratic efficiency. Finally, we support the view that the interpretation of different types of semi-presidentialism as a constitutional system of government requires further clarification, especially in matters related to the operationalization of various political regimes, which may significantly modify the institutional essence of semi-presidentialism in Europe and elsewhere.


Appendices

Table 5: Some of the examples of different variations of the unified minority system as a separate type of semi-presidentialism in European countries (PDF)

Table 6: The effects of different types of European semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation and responsibility of the executive and the composition of legislatures (as of December 2017) (PDF)

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THE AUTHORS

Vitaliy S. LYTVYN (ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9395-3761) is Professor at the Department of Political Science of "Ivan Franko" National University of Lviv (Ukraine). He specialises in contemporary political regimes, political institutions, systems and processes, parties and party systems, elections and electoral systems, European political institutions, forms, and systems of government, with a focus on semi presidential systems. He holds a doctoral degree in Political Science from "Ivan Franko" National University of Lviv with a thesis on cabinet stability in Central European countries. He also holds a ScD degree in Political Science with a thesis on semi presidential system of government in European countries. He is the author or co-author of about one hundred scientific research pieces, including Contemporary Political Regimes: Institutional and Procedural Dimensions of Analysis (2014), Political Institutions of Central and Eastern European Countries: A comparative Analysis (2014), Comparative Analysis of Political Institutions of the Visegrad Group and Other Central and Eastern European Countries (2016), Attributes and Varieties of Semi Presidential System of Government in Europe: Institutional, Procedural, Political and Behavioural Aspects (2018) and Comparative Analysis of Political Institutions and Systems in Western European Countries (2020). vitaliy.lytvyn@lnu.edu.ua

Anatoliy S. ROMANYUK (ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7356-6433) is Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science of "Ivan Franko" National University of Lviv (Ukraine). He specialises in contemporary political systems, political institutions, parties and party systems, elections and electoral systems, electoral campaigns, modern political doctrines, the evolution of political institutions. He holds PhD and ScD degrees in Political Science from "Ivan Franko" National University of Lviv, with the latter dedicated to a comparative analysis of political institutions in Western Europe. He is the author or co-author of more than one hundred scientific research pieces, including the volumes Comparative Analysis of Political Systems in Western Europe: Institutional Dimension (2004), Comparative Analysis of Political Institutions in Western Europe (2007), The History of Western Political Doctrines: Political Doctrines of the 20th and Early 21st Centuries (2011), Political Institutions of Central and Eastern European Countries: A Comparative Analysis (2014), Comparative Analysis of Political Institutions of the Visegrad Group and Other Central and Eastern European Countries (2016), Comparative Analysis of Political Institutions and Systems in Western European Countries (2020). anatoliy.romanyuk@lnu.edu.ua

The authors contributed equally to the design and implementation of the research, to the analysis of the results and to the writing of the manuscript.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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CITE THIS ARTICLE

LYTVYN, Vytaliy S., and Anatoliy S. ROMANIUK. 2021.Types and effects of European semi-presidentialism based on the features of dualism, party affiliation and responsibility of the executive, and the composition of legislatures. Analele Universității din București. Științe Politice [Annals of the University of Bucharest. Political Science series] 23(1): 87-116. https://doi.org/10.54885/JWZP6920