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© 2020

Semi-Presidential Policy-Making in Europe

Executive Coordination and Political Leadership

Book

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Presidential Politics book series (PASTPRPO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Tapio Raunio, Thomas Sedelius
    Pages 1-17
  3. Tapio Raunio, Thomas Sedelius
    Pages 19-44
  4. Tapio Raunio, Thomas Sedelius
    Pages 45-77
  5. Tapio Raunio, Thomas Sedelius
    Pages 79-91
  6. Tapio Raunio, Thomas Sedelius
    Pages 93-126
  7. Tapio Raunio, Thomas Sedelius
    Pages 127-150
  8. Tapio Raunio, Thomas Sedelius
    Pages 151-163
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 165-169

About this book

Introduction

This book explores how power-sharing between the president and the prime minister works in semi-presidential regimes. In contrast to much of the existing comparative work on semi-presidentialism, the book emphasizes the role of institutional coordination at the most concrete level of executive policy-making, and asks how institutional coordination between the president and prime minister influences presidential activism and the balance of power within the executive. The authors develop a tentative framework embedded in institutionalism and based on four strands of research – semi-presidentialism, public administration, political leadership, and foreign policy analysis – which is subsequently applied to the cases of Lithuania, Romania and Finland. Given the political challenges facing many semi-presidential countries, the study ultimately seeks to identify institutional solutions that facilitate power-sharing and successful policy-making.

Tapio Raunio is Professor of Political Science at Tampere University, Finland. His research interests include legislatures and political parties, the Europeanization of domestic politics, semi-presidentialism, and the Finnish political system. He has published articles in many leading journals, including European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Common Market Studies, Party Politics, Scandinavian Political Studies, and West European Politics.

Thomas Sedelius is Professor of Political Science at Dalarna University, Sweden. His research focuses on political institutions in new democracies and transitional regimes. His previous work on semi-presidentialism has appeared in leading journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Democratization, and Government and Opposition. In 2015, his article with Olga Mashtaler “Two Decades of Semi-Presidentialism” received the East European Politics Prize.

Keywords

semi-presidentialism institutional coordination Finland Lithuania Romania public administration political leadership foreign policy analysis intra-executive conflict public opinion formal intra-executive coordination administrative coordination formal institutions agenda-setting initiatives presidential activism security policy EU affairs policy failure coordination failure presidential activism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Management and BusinessTampere UniversityTampereFinland
  2. 2.School of Education, Health and Social SciencesDalarna UniversityFalunSweden

About the authors

Tapio Raunio is Professor of Political Science at Tampere University, Finland. His research interests include legislatures and political parties, the Europeanization of domestic politics, semi-presidentialism, and the Finnish political system. He has published articles in many leading journals, including European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Common Market Studies, Party Politics, Scandinavian Political Studies, and West European Politics. He is a Steering Committee Member of the ECPR Standing Group on Presidential Politics. 

Thomas Sedelius is Professor of Political Science at Dalarna University, Sweden. His research focuses on political institutions in new democracies and transitional regimes. His previous work on semi-presidentialism has appeared in leading journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Democratization, and Government and Opposition. In 2015, his article with Olga Mashtaler “Two Decades of Semi-Presidentialism” received the East European Politics Prize. He is a Steering Committee Member of the ECPR Standing Group on Presidential Politics. 

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“Raunio and Sedelius contribute to significantly advancing our understanding of executive coordination and power-sharing mechanisms in semi-presidential regimes. The book’s compelling comparative analysis of formal and informal institutions affecting coherent decision-making provides strong insights into incentives and avenues for presidential activism, particularly in transitional semi-presidential regimes. The findings are applicable well beyond Europe.” (Sophia Moestrup, Deputy Director for Central and West Africa, National Democratic Institute, Washington, DC, USA)

Raunio and Sedelius’ study of intra-executive relations in semi-presidential systems is innovative in many ways. Many existing studies have focused on cohabitation as the main variable in explaining levels of intra-executive conflicts under semi-presidentialism, and used quantitative analysis as a tool for analysis. Conversely, Raunio and Sedelius show that coordination mechanisms between president and prime minister is contingent on many other factors, including institutional constraints, the importance of critical junctures and path dependency on institutional rules and the perceived role of the presidency in policymaking, the staffing of the office of the presidency, or the type of policy under scrutiny (domestic versus foreign policy). Moreover, Raunio and Sedelius employ a state-of-the-art qualitative comparative analysis of Finland, Lithuania, and Romania, and rely on interviews of executive actors in these countries, to test their theoretical model. The theoretical framework and astute methodological approach make this book stand out from existing studies on semi-presidentialism, and is therefore a must-read for scholars and constitutional framers interested in this type of institutional arrangement.” (Sébastien G. Lazardeux, Department of Political Science and Legal Studies, St. John Fisher College, USA)