Why the Prime Minister cannot be a President: Comparing Institutional Imperatives in Britain and America
ABSTRACT The notion of presidentialisation, applied to the British Prime Minister, usually focuses more on the personal style of the of the officeholder, less on the institutional substance of the office itself. The Prime Minister is the product of the British parliamentary system, and this system—and the institutional structures it imposes—provides for and circumscribes his or her powers. Comparing Britain with the US demonstrates that in executive-legislative terms a British Prime Minister is more commanding than any US President, while in intra-executive terms the President is more powerful. The presidentialisation notion fails to acknowledge that its legislative purchase makes the British parliamentary executive more authoritative than its US presidential counterpart. Should, as is often but not always the case, a Prime Minister be able to lead his or her executive, determine its key decisions, shape its agenda and guide the work of its ministers, he or she will be a more influential actor than the President. Systemic differences distinguish Prime Ministers from Presidents. Britain does not have a presidential system, so it cannot have a presidential chief executive.
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ABSTRACT: Party leaders (plural, not singular) collectively dominate their party, so the party leader as prime minister, when they are sufficiently personally resourced to make full use of their prime ministerial institutional resources, should be predominant within both party and government. Being predominant, which makes the prime minister a ‘stronger or main element’ within government, provides them with considerable, never overwhelming influence. All party leaders are preeminent, but only some predominant. David Cameron, building on his performance in opposition, has established his predominance within his party, but to what extent is he predominant as prime minister? What restrictions can coalition government impose on his use of his prime ministerial power resources?08/2010;
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ABSTRACT: Democratic theory and leadership studies are closely related. Yet, the idea of democratic leadership is inherently paradoxical. Whereas the concept of democracy rests on the idea of popular sovereignty, that is self-government by an autonomous citizenry, and is based on a strong egalitarian ethos, the concept of leadership necessarily encompasses hierarchy and hence inequality. In a truly democratic society, the leader is the odd one out. Thus, at their theoretical extremes, political leadership and democracy are on rather bad terms with each other. This paradox is broadly recognized, both theoretically and empirically (e.g. Kellerman & Webster, 2001; Kane & Patapan, 2008; Ruscio, 2008; Kane, Patapan & 't Hart, 2009a). Political leaders must walk a thin line between offering the necessary guidance and imposing authoritarian rule. Several scholars have provided insightful studies that have shaped our understanding of the leadership-democracy nexus (e.g. Brooker, 2005; Ruscio, 2008; Kane, Patapan & Wong, 2008).However, most of these have not yet incorporated the theoretical diversity of understandings of democracy and the empirical variety in democratic systems. Discussions on the relationship between democracy and leadership tend to be rather one-dimensional because they tend to concentrate on the conflicting aspects of the relationship between leadership and ‘the’ idea of democracy. Consequently, democratic leadership scholars run the risk of overlooking the affinity between particular types of political leadership on the one hand and forms of democracy on the other and how it develops in changing socio-political contexts. In contrast, this chapter, in the tradition of Aaron Wildavsky (1984), aims to elaborate on the theoretical and empirical kinship between different styles of leadership and different models of democracy. The focal question is: what does democratic leadership amount to in different types of democracy? It finds a starting point in Keane’s (2009) three-stage model of democratic transformation (moving from classic ‘assembly democracy’, to modern ‘representative democracy’, to present-day ‘monitory democracy’), which is combined with Hendriks’ (2010) four ideal typical models of democracy (pendulum, consensus, voter and participatory democracy). We argue that political leaders increasingly operate in more hybrid forms of democracy, that is democratic regimes in which characteristics of different forms of democracy are combined, and for that reason are required to develop innovative political repertoires that could be characterized as ‘kaleidoscopic leadership’.12/2011;
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ABSTRACT: In this article, we address recent claims that executive— legislative relations in parliamentary democracies are undergoing important changes owing to either a `presidentialization' or a `Europeanization' of domestic political systems. Therefore, we test empirically whether parliamentary democracies are indeed experiencing changes in executive—legislative relations and whether these developments can, in part, be explained by an increase in European integration. Using data on ministerial selection in Swedish cabinets during the years 1952—2006, we find that there appears to be a slight tendency towards `presidentialization', which is indicated by a decrease in ministers with a parliamentary background being appointed, and that there exists some support for the notion that Sweden's political and economic integration into the European Union is part of the explanation for this change.European Union Politics 01/2009; 10(2):226-252. · 1.26 Impact Factor