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date: 06 October 2022

Executive–Legislative Relations in Latin American Politicslocked

Executive–Legislative Relations in Latin American Politicslocked

  • Cecilia Martinez-GallardoCecilia Martinez-GallardoDepartment of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  •  and Marcelo CamerloMarcelo CamerloInstituto de Ciencias Sociales, Universidade de Lisboa

Summary

Presidentialism has long been associated with democratic instability. Conflict between the executive and the legislature is at the heart of this relationship. Traditional arguments link minority presidents with policy deadlock and inter-branch conflict, especially in contexts where presidential institutions deincentivize the formation of governing coalitions that can provide presidents with stable legislative majorities. The extent to which these premises are true, however, varies significantly across the presidential countries of Latin America, as does the potential for conflict and cooperation between the executive and the legislature. The prevalence of minority presidents hinges on the fragmentation of congress as well as other characteristics of the party and electoral systems; the relative powers of the president and congress vary widely, and in many places they have been adjusted precisely to reduce inter-branch conflict. Finally, even where minority governments are the norm, the formation of governing coalitions has helped presidents obtain majority support in congress.

Subjects

  • Governance/Political Change
  • Political Institutions

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