The Dawn of Parliamentarism: How ministerial responsibility emerged in England by 1702 and why the separation of powers myth persisted

Why did the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, which wrote the US Constitution, not consider creating a parliamentary system? It is often assumed that the answer, or a big part of it, is that parliamentarism did not yet exist anywhere (for some recent examples, see Bulmer (2020) and Salinger (2019)). In other words, there was no existing … Continue reading The Dawn of Parliamentarism: How ministerial responsibility emerged in England by 1702 and why the separation of powers myth persisted

A Ballot Throne: does direct election matter for presidential power?

Part I: a discussion of Margit Tavits’ 2009 Presidents with Prime Ministers From kings and archons to presidents and prime ministers, positions of leadership and authority form a crucial part of every state. Different states have institutionally different positions of executive and legislative authority and different rules structuring their respective powers and relations, known as … Continue reading A Ballot Throne: does direct election matter for presidential power?

Executive type: basic definitions

A great deal of the literature comparing political institutions across countries has been devoted to the study of executive type (or executive format). By executive type I mean the institutional structure of the executive and legislative branches of a country (or other jurisdiction), their constitutionally-defined relationship and relative powers. Most people will be familiar with … Continue reading Executive type: basic definitions