The book analyzes the presidencies of three neighboring Central European countries – Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – in the context of their interactions with cabinets (and prime ministers), parliaments and the constitutional courts, all which have proved crucial actors in the region’s political and constitutional battles.
Using both institutional and behavioral perspectives along with an innovative definition of semi-presidentialism, the book argues that presidential powers – rather than the mode of the election of the president – are crucial to the functioning of the regimes and their classification into distinctive regime types. Focusing on intra-executive conflicts and the interaction of the president with other constitutional players it argues that, regardless of the mode of the election of the president, regimes have traditionally been very similar not only in their institutional settings, but also in the way they function. Finally, it shows that Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia should be classified as parliamentary regimes.
This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of Central and East Europe studies/politics, post-Communist studies, presidential studies and more broadly to political elites and institutions, comparative politics and legislative studies.
1. Theory and Concepts: Between Parliamentarism and Semi-Presidentialism
2. Origins and Developments of the Central European Regimes’ Institutional Settings
3. Formal Presidential Powers
4. Presidential Powers in Practice
6. Beyond the Constitutions – Other Factors Affecting the Presidential Power
7. Classification of Central European Regimes
All political systems are governed by ruling elites – presidents, prime ministers, ministers, civil servants, judges, mayors and councillors all play important roles in running our lives, while beyond the state people are picked to run international organizations. Social elites, such as global business or media tycoons, religious or ethnic leaders, play a major role influencing public policy. The books in this series examine all such political and social elites within local, national and international arenas. We are interested in theoretical and empirical analyses of elites. Whilst elites have been studied in the past, modern computing and electronic data-collection facilities mean that for the first time comprehensive information on the personal characteristics of elites, including factors such as birthplace, age, and social and educational background, can relatively easily be gathered. We can explore the ways in which people enter the elite, the networks they form and the policies they effect. Modern techniques open up exciting opportunities to examine our governors, their actions and interactions in more detail than ever before.