Regimes that diverge from the standards of liberal/Western democracy still largely present a black box for students of political leadership and comparative government. One the one hand, research has recently rejected the traditional assumption of the executive (cabinet or president) as an omnipotent force and highlighted the complex nature and power dynamics in non-democratic regimes. On the other hand, the backsliding of previously (almost) fully democratic countries – exemplified most clearly by the cases of Hungary and Poland – has created new ‘illiberal democracies’ that require new analytical tools and approaches for analysis.
This panel invites contributions that shed light on the politics of political leaders and elites in illiberal democracies, semi-democratic and authoritarian regimes – either in the form of case studies or from a comparative perspective.
Deadline and contact Please send paper proposals (max. 250 words + 3-5 keyword) for inclusion in the panel proposal by Monday 5 February 2018 to Philipp Köker (email@example.com).
The book examines the use of presidential powers in Central and East Europe between 1990 and 2010, focusing on presidential vetoes and the formation of governments. Based on original quantitative data and unique insights into presidential politics gathered through a large number of elite interviews, it provides one of the first comprehensive comparative studies of presidential activism and veto power in Europe.
“Despite the prominence of presidential powers in academic debates, until now only few scholars have tried to analyse and explain how presidential actually use them. My study attempts to fill this gap in the literature and add to our understanding of presidential politics in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems.”
The book has already received praise from established scholars. Ferdinand Müller-Rommel, Professor of Comparative Politics at the Leuphana University Lüneburg, highlights the originality and scientific rigour of the study: “The book is an inspiration for scholars of comparative government. It has set a new approach of excellence for those seeking to understand presidential activism in democracies across the globe.”
The book is available as hardback and ebook – you can download a flyer here. I would of course also be grateful if you would recommend it to your library. Last, you can watch a short book trailer summarising the book’s key features below.
Since October 2003, the ECPR Press has awarded an annual PhD prize named after Political Science Professor Jean Blondel for the best thesis in politics (including not only Comparative Politics but also other fields such as International Relations, Political Theory and Public Administration). The central criterion for this prize is that, with suitable amendments, the thesis would make an outstanding book. The prize comes with a cash reward of €1,000 and is thus one of the most highly endowed dissertation prizes worldwide.
The prize committee highlighted that “the thesis makes an important contribution to studies of presidential activism. It suggests an innovative research approach to explain this activism and, moreover, it is elegantly constructed and the dissertation is a pleasure to read.”
1. Presidents and legislation: Policymaking consequences of presidential veto power
The presidents’ legislative veto has traditionally attracted great scholarly attention and scholars have been able to identify common predictors of its use across political systems. This research now provides the basis for a shift of scholarly focus from explaining general patterns of presidential veto use to more bill-specific theoretical and statistical models of presidential involvement in the legislative process. This panel invites submissions that push the boundaries of current research on presidential vetoes and presidents’ involvement in legislation (e.g. through judicial review requests or legislative initiatives) irrespective of methodological (quantitative/qualitative) or theoretical approach. Both case studies of individual countries and/or specific mechanisms as well as comparative research and theoretical papers are welcome. Full call for papers under this link.
2. The role of presidents in the recent EU crises
Throughout the recent European crises, presidents have emerged as exceedingly vocal actors in a number of countries where they normally do not play a leading executive role. Starting with the Eurozone crisis in 2008 and the subsequent austerity policies, presidential action has been provoked by a number of international factors. The aim of the Panel is to analyse the context and consequences of these interpellations and interventions in which presidents – despite often limited in formal prerogatives – have gone beyond established roles and constitutional practice in a bid to influence the management of European crises at national and international level. This panel welcomes contributions that look at cases individually or comparatively and embed their analyses in the wider literature on political leadership, agenda-setting and European Union studies. Full call for papers under this link.
Since October 2003, the ECPR Press has awarded an annual PhD prize named after Political Science Professor Jean Blondel for the best thesis in politics (including not only Comparative Politics but also other fields such as International Relations, Political Theory and Public Administration). The central criterion for this prize is that, with suitable amendments, the thesis would make an outstanding book, addressing central themes in the relevant subfield(s) of the discipline. The prize comes with a cash reward of €1,000 and is thus one of the most highly endowed dissertation prizes worldwide.
The prize committee highlighted that the thesis makes an important contribution to studies of presidential activism. It suggests an innovative research approach to explain this activism and, moreover, it is elegantly constructed and the dissertation is a pleasure to read.
My PhD thesis‘Veto et Peto: Patterns of Presidential Activism in Central and Eastern Europe’ has been shortlisted for the ECPR Jean Blondel PhD Prize. Since October 2003, the ECPR Press has awarded an annual PhD prize named after Political Science Professor Jean Blondel for the best thesis in politics (including not only Comparative Politics but also other fields such as International Relations, Political Theory and Public Administration).
Each full ECPR member institution (currently 288) can nominate only one dissertation (usually after an internal contest/selection procedure) which, with revision, could be potentially published as a monograph.
Initial selection is based on a 15-20 page abstract; no more than 5 nominees are included in the short list and then submit a full copy of their thesis for evaluation by the committee. The winner will be announced by 30 September 2016.
You can read my thesis here. I am currently working towards publishing it as a monograph.
This year I am organising a panel on presidential veto power in comparative perspective for the section “Presidential Politics. Powers and Constraints in Comparative Perspective” organised by the ECPR Standing Group on Presidents at the ECPR General Conference in Prague, 7-10 September 2016. I am still looking for contributors to the panel, so please get in touch if you would like to contribute.
Presidents are now the most common type of head of state in democracies around the world. Although the role of the presidency varies greatly from country to country, even the least powerful presidents possess some power that allows them to influence the political process. The common and most frequently used power is the right to veto. The majority of presidents around the world can return bills to parliament for reconsideration, and the mere threat to use their power can bring work on bills to a halt.
Yet there is great variation in stipulations and customs governing both the formal and informal veto power of presidents. Some presidents merely dispose of a block veto that can be overridden by a simple majority, while others can suggest changes to bills and impose their will on the legislature by the ways of super majorities required for overriding their veto. Even without being formally vested with such constitutional prerogatives, presidents have found ways to significantly delay or prevent the implementation of parliamentary or governmental decisions.
Apart from a wealth of studies on U.S.-American presidents, presidential veto use tends to be understudied both empirically (e.g. veto use and its determinants) and theoretically (developing new or advancing existing approaches). The aim of this panel is to shed light on and examine different facets of presidential veto power within and beyond constitutional stipulations. It presents comparative papers and country studies on presidential veto power in Latin America and the USA, Western and Central Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
It particularly welcomes proposals for comparative papers, irrespective of the chosen methodological approach (quantitative or qualitative). Potential topics include but are not limited to:
the determinants of presidential veto use
the development of veto use over time
the consequences of formal and informal veto power and its use
vetoes and amendatory observations to legislation
new or improved theoretical models of presidential veto power
Please email your abstracts (300 words) for inclusion in the panel to Philipp Köker (p [dot] koeker [at] ucl.ac.uk) by Friday, 5th February 2016.