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.
We will follow the activity of both directly elected and indirectly elected presidents; we will also post information about how presidents use their powers in different countries as well as information about events that affect presidents. I will be responsible for covering the Baltic states, Central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary), Germany and Austria. We also have a Twitter account and Facebook page – feel free to follow/like!
On 28 February 2013 I will be giving a talk titled “Президентське вето – Central and Eastern European presidents and their power to block legislation” at the Ukrainian Institute in London.
In my talk I am going to present results from my study of the use of presidential vetoes in the new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe and compare these findings with how Ukrainian presidents from 1998 to to 2012 have used their power to block legislation.
Time: 7.00PM Place: Ukrainian Institute
79 Holland Park
London W11 3SW
The talk will be held in English; admission is free and everybody is welcome! There will be an opportunity of Q&A after the talk as well as a wine reception.