Robert Elgie

Robert Elgie
Dublin City University | DCU · School of Law and Government

PhD

About

150
Publications
30,142
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,953
Citations
Citations since 2016
23 Research Items
1502 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Introduction
Robert Elgie is the Paddy Moriarty Professor of Government and International Studies at Dublin City University. He is the editor of French Politics. He is also the Review Editor for the journal Government and Opposition. He is the lead co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of French Politics to appear in 2016. He has worked extensively on the concept of semi-presidentialism to the extent that his definition has been adopted as the scientific standard.
Additional affiliations
April 2001 - present
Dublin City University
Position
  • Professor of Government and International Studies
September 1999 - March 2001
University of Nottingham
Position
  • Senior Lecturer in Politics
September 1995 - August 1999
University of Limerick
Position
  • Lecturer in Politics
Education
September 1988 - September 1991
October 1984 - June 1987
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Shugart and Carey introduced the twin concepts of premier-presidentialism and president-parliamentarism in their 1992 volume, Presidents and Assemblies. Based on a meta-analysis of journal articles and book publications, this article distinguishes between an early and a contemporary history of the two concepts. The period of early history runs from...
Chapter
The authors reappraise what has been learnt about presidential term limits from comparative and country studies. The importance and role of presidential term limits are contingent on political regime. In consolidated democracies presidential term limits are not only an institution but also a norm of political behavior. Term limits can be reformed w...
Chapter
This chapter introduces major research questions and themes in the politics of presidential term limits. The institution of term limits can be understood as the dependent variable, as the explanatory variable, as a focal point, and as an indicator—a tripwire. Because of a very “tight” relationship between democracy and term limits, it is more fruit...
Chapter
We address the issue of whether outcomes that are supposedly the result of exogenous institutional rules are actually endogenous to the circumstances of institutional choice. We show that to identify whether or not leadership outcomes are endogenous, we need to investigate both the motivations present at the moment of institutional choice and wheth...
Chapter
We focus on the level of conflict between the president and the cabinet in 21 European countries since 1995. We report the results of an expert survey that identifies the level of president/cabinet conflict in all cabinets in these countries. We adopt a probabilistic statistical method to identify the sources of variation in president/cabinet confl...
Chapter
We focus on France and the president’s power to control the composition of the cabinet. We use probabilistic methods to examine the party-political sources of presidential power. We also use both crisp-set and fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify the specific combination of conditions that has allowed some French presidents to sha...
Chapter
We examine the politics of institutional choice in Romania. We focus on the highly conflictual period of cohabitation in Romania from 2007 to 2008. We examine the extent to which the high degree of intra-executive conflict during cohabitation was endogenous to the circumstances of institutional choice in 1989–1991. Using a theory-testing process-tr...
Chapter
We sketch the literature on economic voting and clarity of institutional responsibility. We identify the main institutional features that we expect to condition the strength of accountability for economic performance, focusing on the differences between parliamentarism and semi-presidentialism and the effect of presidential power. We take a study b...
Chapter
We show how contemporary scholars have tried to make sense of the study of political leadership and present our institutional theory of leadership outcomes. We establish the basic interactionist paradigm within which the study of leadership outcomes is generally conducted. We show how this paradigm is consistent with both a scientific realist found...
Chapter
We reflect very briefly on some of the general themes of the volume. We believe that many scholars of political leadership work in a way that is consistent with a scientific realist foundation. We study institutions from a post-positivist, scientific realist, pragmatic perspective, emphasizing that we need to be modest about the conclusions we can...
Chapter
We establish the philosophical foundations of our approach to the study of political leadership. We begin with a general discussion of ontology and epistemology before presenting two basic philosophical positions, positivism and constructivism, demonstrating that they are incompatible with each other. We then focus on a third position, scientific r...
Chapter
We sketch the long-standing debate about the relative effect of presidential and parliamentary institutions on democratic performance. We identify the psychological mechanisms that underpin the argument that presidentialism is likely to be perilous for democratic performance, focusing on the likelihood of conflict between the president and the legi...
Article
The article by Ganghof, Eppner and Pörschke discusses the concept of semi-parliamentarism. This concept is very useful and will be used in future empirical studies. This short commentary provides a constructive critique of the concept, noting that only two countries currently meet the definitional criteria for the concept, that normative criteria s...
Article
The adoption of bicameralism in the world is increasingly an authoritarian phenomenon: while the percentage of bicameral democracies is in decline, there has been a steady increase in bicameral non-democracies. What makes non-democracies turn to bicameralism? We argue that bicameralism may serve as a means of post-conflict reconciliation or control...
Article
This article focuses on the two main contributions to the contemporary academic debate about the term ‘presidentialisation’, namely the books by Samuels and Shugart and Poguntke and Webb. The aim is not to rehearse critiques that have already been made about this term or to add another to the list. Instead, the aim is to distinguish between two dif...
Article
This book provides a philosophically informed, institutionalist account of political leadership. It is rooted in a certain version of the American pragmatist philosophical tradition and privileges the study of institutions as a cause of leadership outcomes. The book adopts a multi-method approach. It includes a laboratory experiment identifying the...
Article
This article applies Maurice Duverger’s 1964 thesis of the éternel marais to the French party system following Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the 2017 presidential election. Duverger argued that for around 80 per cent of the period from 1789 to 1958, France had been governed from the centre, which he called the marais, with power shifting not between...
Article
There is a growing literature which argues that courts are effectively legislators. As a result, political leaders have an incentive to control judicial decisions by appointing justices whose policy preferences are as close to their own as possible. For this reason, in many countries judicial appointments to the highest courts have become highly po...
Article
This essay explores aspects of the relationship between political leadership and institutional power, comparing the different forms that presidential institutions have taken across the world and identifying the relationship between these structures and social, political, and economic outcomes. Semipresidential systems are distinguished from preside...
Chapter
Introducing a collection of country case studies on semi-presidentialism in the Caucasus and Central Asia, Elgie and Moestrup identify the concept of semi-presidentialism and review the existing literature about the supposed effects of this constitutional form. In particular, the authors address the importance of institutional variation within semi...
Chapter
Elgie and Moestrup summarize the findings from a collection of case studies of countries with semi-presidential institutions in Central Asia and the Caucasus. The authors justify the study of institutions both generally and in the context of an often authoritarian system of patronal presidents in the post-Soviet space. Based on the findings, Elgie...
Book
This edited collection examines the politics of semi-presidential countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Semi-presidentialism is the situation where there is both a directly elected fixed-term president and a prime minister and cabinet that are collectively responsible for the legislature. There are four countries with a semi-presidential cons...
Article
Countries often debate the issue of constitutional reform. Typically, such debates focus on whether a country should have a presidential, semi-presidential, or parliamentary system of government. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these systems are now very well-known. However, it is important to move beyond the simple headline debate abou...
Article
This article reviews the scholarship on semi-presidentialism since the early 1990s. We identify three waves of semi-presidential studies. The first wave focused on the concept of semi-presidentialism, how it should be defined, and what countries should be classified as semi-presidential. The second wave examined the effect of semi-presidential inst...
Chapter
This chapter sets out a framework that tries to make sense of the study of political ‘leadership. This framework will be applied to the next four chapters. In this chapter, we begin by identifying three basic lines of inquiry that have been followed by scholars of political leadership since the establishment of the interactionist paradigm: normativ...
Chapter
In this chapter we focus on the first of two sets of scientific realist accounts of political leadership. The first set we examine focuses on the psychology of political leaders. According to Harold Lasswell (1930: 1), one of the founders of political psychology, ‘political science without biography is a form of taxidermy.’ As we shall see, politic...
Chapter
In this chapter, we examine another set of accounts that are consistent with a scientific realist approach. These accounts do not have a neat label. Here, we consider them under the general heading of contextual accounts of political leadership. These accounts are firmly rooted within the interactionist paradigm, whereby leadership is the result of...
Chapter
In this chapter, we take stock of what we have learned across the course of this book and look forward to the future of the study of political leadership. We argue that the current state of leadership studies is not as chaotic and disorganized as might sometimes be thought. This is because existing studies are founded on certain philosophical assum...
Chapter
In this chapter, we identify constructivist accounts of political leadership. We begin by identifying the basic relationship between constructivism and the study of political leadership. We note that constructivist accounts have emerged relatively recently. Then, we identify four distinct constructivist accounts of political leadership. The first c...
Chapter
When we think of leaders, we tend to think of people who head groups of individuals. When we think of leadership, we tend to think of both the actions of those people and the outcomes of their actions. When we think in this way, it is difficult to imagine any group of humans, however ancient and however small, existing or at least prospering withou...
Chapter
We begin this chapter by identifying the basic relationship between positivism and the study of political leadership, emphasizing the problems many positivists have with the study of this topic. Next, we identify three specific positivist accounts. The first, the notion of leadership as a response to the problem of social coordination, is perhaps t...
Article
This article aims to maximize the reliability of presidential power scores for a larger number of countries and time periods than currently exists for any single measure, and in a way that is replicable and easy to update. It begins by identifying all of the studies that have estimated the effect of a presidential power variable, clarifying what sc...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the impact of direct presidential elections on legislative party systems. We argue that presidential power (PRESPOW) shapes the effective number of presidential candidates in a way that has a reductive effect on the legislative party system within an intermediary range of PRESPOW. We also argue that this proposition should be tested sole...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of current debates about the presidentialization and personalization of politics, this review discusses the Americanization of presidential politics in France. Two specific areas are reviewed: the personalization of French presidential elections and the presidentialization of the executive decision-making process. The discussion focu...
Article
Full-text available
We test the effect of the importance of elections by focusing on turnout at presidential and legislative elections in countries with semipresidential constitutions. These countries have two potentially first-order elections, but they vary considerably in the powers that are granted to their presidents and prime ministers. We hypothesize that turnou...
Article
Full-text available
The study of the effects of institutions suffers from a potential endogeneity problem. This article proposes a strategy for addressing this problem by estimating the motivations for institutional choice directly. It identifies the motivations behind the wording of postindependence constitutions in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa. The author finds th...
Article
There is long-standing belief that the Irish presidency is a unique or at least a very unusual institution. To what extent is this interpretation correct? This article compares the Irish presidency with other presidencies. It examines the spread of direct presidential elections and the gradual diffusion of constitutions with a mix of presidential a...
Article
This book examines the relationship between semi-presidentialism and democratic performance. Semi-presidentialism - where a constitution provides for both a directly elected president and a prime minister and cabinet responsible to the legislature - has become the regime type of choice for new democracies. There are now over fifty countries in the...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the differences between political leadership in old and new democracies. It operationalizes the concept of political leadership as the decision-making authority of the president and/or the prime minister in these systems. It adopts an institutionalist approach to the study of political leadership. It argues that different poli...
Article
Semi-presidentialism - where the constitution provides for both a directly elected fixed-term president and a prime minister and cabinet collectively responsible to the legislature - is an increasingly common form of government. For many observers cohabitation is the Achilles heel of semi-presidentialism. This article aims to identify the condition...
Article
The concept of the ‘core executive’ was introduced by Dunleavy and Rhodes in 1990. Two decades on, what is the state of core executive studies? This article argues that the language of the study of central government has been transformed. In addition, there is now a much broader consideration of the central government space, incorporating ministers...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the variation in the durability of semi-presidential democracies, a constitutional type neglected by traditional work on democratic survival although it accounts for nearly a quarter of the world's democracies. We synthesise the existing literature on these regimes and extract a series of expectations about the factors that shap...
Chapter
This book takes stock of what we have learned to date about the impact of semi-presidentialism on democracy from a cross-regional perspective. We do so by discussing institutional choice, operational subtypes, system performance, and the evolution of semi-presidentialism, following a logical sequence. In so doing, the present volume covers more gro...
Chapter
This chapter examines why some semi-presidential democracies survive while others fail. The scale of suffering and loss of opportunity that followed the failure of some of these democracies remains staggering even at a historical distance: the death and destruction caused by the Nazi dictatorship in the aftermath of the Weimar Republic’s collapse,...
Chapter
There are now more than 50 countries in the world with semi-presidential constitutions. The first semi-presidential regimes were created in 1919 in Finland and Weimar Germany. The spread of semi-presidentialism was slow for a long time after this period, but during the third wave of democratization in the early 1990s semi-presidentialism became the...
Chapter
Western Europe is the birthplace of semi-presidentialism and the study of semi-presidentialism. The first two countries to adopt semi-presidential constitutions were Finland and Weimar Germany in 1919 and for decades, semi-presidentialism was confined almost exclusively to this region. From an academic perspective, Western Europe was the first regi...
Article
Semi-presidentialism is the situation where a constitution makes provision for both a directly elected fixed-term president and a prime minister and cabinet who are responsible to the legislature. A common argument against the adoption of a semi-presidential constitution by a new democracy is the problem of cohabitation – where a president from one...
Article
This paper examines how government accountability affects the survival of semi-presidential democracies. In these democracies, control over the cabinet is potentially a contentious issue between president and assembly. Semi-presidential constitutions divide into those which resolve the issue by making the cabinet responsible exclusively to the asse...
Article
Full-text available
In 2003, the Basic Law of the Palestinian Authority (PA) was amended and a semi-presidential form of government was established. In January 2006, the legislative election resulted in a period of ‘cohabitation’ between the Hamas government and President Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah. In 2007, following the civil war between the two forces, governance str...
Article
Full-text available
This article uses the method devised by Simon Hix to rank the research performance of political science departments on the basis of publications in high-quality journals. We replicate Hix's methodology to assess the performance of politics departments in Ireland from 2003 to 2007. We are very aware that the Hix method provides only a partial measur...
Article
The concept of semi-presidentialism was first operationalised by Maurice Duverger. There are now 17 countries with semi-presidential constitutions in Europe. Within this set of countries France is usually considered to be the archetypal example of semi-presidentialism. This article maps the main institutional and political features of European semi...
Article
There is a long-standing and widespread consensus that semi-presidentialism is bad for democratic performance. This article examines whether there is empirical evidence to support the arguments against semi-presidentialism. Examining countries that incompletely consolidated and yet not autocratic, we identify the relationship between democratic per...
Article
This paper calculates indices of central bank autonomy (CBA) for 163 central banks as of end-2003, and comparable indices for a subgroup of 68 central banks as of the end of the 1980s. The results confirm strong improvements in both economic and political CBA over the past couple of decades, although more progress is needed to boost political auton...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing amount of work on whether a higher level of women's representation in parliament leads to a different style of parliamentary politics. To date, most studies have focused on Western cases, and the results have been mixed. Women add new dimensions to the policy agenda, but there is little evidence that increased women's represe...
Article
Full-text available
There is a standard academic consensus that semi-presidentialism is perilous for new democracies. In particular, this is because semi-presidential countries run the risk of experiencing difficult periods of ‘cohabitation’ between a president and a prime minister who are opposed to each other, and because they may also experience periods of divided...
Article
One of the main tasks of those who study French politics is to explain the source of presidential power in the Fifth Republic. In French, two rival explanations have emerged: the state power thesis and the majority power thesis. For the former, presidential power is structural, being derived from the organization of the state. For the latter, it is...
Article
This is the first academic study of the impact of semi-presidentialism in emerging democracies outside of Europe. Semi-presidentialism is where there is both a directly-elected fixed-term president and a prime minister who is responsible to the legislature. For the most part, semi-presidentialism is seen as being a risky choice for new democracies...
Article
Full-text available
Semi-presidentialism is the situation where the constitution identifies both a directly elected president and a prime minister responsible to the legislature. There are now some 58 countries in the world with a semi-presidential constitution. However, the academic wisdom is resolutely opposed to the adoption of semi-presidentialism and nascent demo...
Article
There is a long-standing argument that in Westminster-style systems parliaments are in decline. The frequency with which the head of government intervenes in parliament is one indicator of this supposed decline. Studies conducted in Britain and Canada show that the frequency of prime ministerial interventions has declined over time, suggesting that...
Article
In recent years, there has been a considerable degree of delegation from governments to quasi-autonomous agencies. Various reasons have been put forward to explain why governments decide to delegate authority in this way (Thatcher 2002, 129-139). Some reasons are based on a transactions cost approach, such as credible commitments. Other reasons are...
Chapter
France has experienced considerable electoral system change, often for partisan motives, but has invariably returned to the two-round system (also known as the double ballot system) in single-member constituencies. This electoral system is one of the factors responsible for France's current party system, which for most of the past fifty years has b...
Article
Full-text available
A common feature of contemporary political systems is the increasing amount of delegation from governments to non-majoritarian institutions. Governments may decide to delegate authority to such institutions for reasons relating to credible commitments, political uncertainty and policy complexity. this article focuses on independent administrative a...
Article
This paper provides a definition of semipresidentialism and identifies the set of semipresidential countries in the world. It aims to isolate the independent impact of semipresidentialism on democratic performance. The conclusion is that countries should avoid highly presidentialised semipresidential systems, whereas semipresidential systems with c...
Article
In France since 1958, it is possible to identify three different types of political leadership: pure presidential government, limited presidential government, and prime ministerial government. These three leadership types are the result of the semi-presidential nature of the Fifth Republic. Under each of the three different forms of leadership, the...
Article
Full-text available
The debate about the relative merits of presidentialism and parliamentarism has a long history, but it was revived in 1990 with Juan Linz's articles about the supposed perils of presidentialism and the virtues of parliamentarism. The argument presented in this review is that we are now witnessing a 'third wave' of presidential/parliamentary studies...
Article
This article examines the parliamentary activity of the head of government in Ireland in selected years from 1923 to 2000 and compares the findings with previous studies of the British and Canadian systems. The results show that, similar to the UK and Canada, there is variation in the level of parliamentary activity in Ireland from one head of gove...
Article
In contrast to the work on presidentialism and parliamentarism, semi-presidentialism remains very much the poor relation in the debate about regime types. This is true both in the sense that there is less work on semi-presidential regimes and also because of the fact that semi-presidentialism has few advocates. This review examines the existing wor...
Article
As we have seen in chapter 3, political life of the Republic of Ireland is overshadowed by two figures: the President of Ireland, who is the head of state and a mainly symbolic figure, and the Taoiseach, who is the head of government and is responsible for political leadership. This chapter explores the foundations of executive power in the Republi...
Chapter
In recent years the study of institutions has very much come into vogue (March and Olsen, 1984). In this regard, the study of voting behaviour is no exception. In their path-breaking article, Powell and Whitten (1993) argued that greater attention needed to be paid “to the electoral context in which citizens choose and the policymaking context with...
Article
Those writing textbooks on comparative European politics, or the cross–national study of European democracies, have a number of key choices to make. They must decide whether to cover Western Europe as well as Central and Eastern Europe; whether to focus on a limited number or a broad range of countries; whether to include the EU in the analysis or...
Article
This article examines the parliamentary activity of the head of government in Ireland in selected years from 1923 to 2000 and compares the findings with previous studies of the British and Canadian systems. The results show that, similar to the UK and Canada, there is variation in the level of parliamentary activity in Ireland from one head of gove...
Article
This article explores the basic traditions of governance in contemporary France and the narratives of public sector reform associated with them. It should be stressed right from the outset that this article does not aim to describe the set of public sector reforms that have been implemented in France in the last ten years or so. Instead, the aim is...
Article
This article examines the politics of what the French call 'cohabitation' in the period 1997-2002. It identifies two different ways in which cohabitation is studied. The first assumes that each of the three periods of cohabitation has occurred under a unique set of political circumstances. The second argues that there have been institutional simila...
Article
The institutional design of the European Central Bank (ECB) has been the subject of considerable political debate. In particular, it has been argued that the Bank suffers from a 'democratic deficit'. This article applies the principal- agent approach to this debate so as to identify more dearly the logic that underpins the basic arguments about the...
Chapter
Divided government occurs when the executive fails to enjoy majority support in at least one house of the legislature. To date, the study of divided government has focused almost exclusively on the US. However, divided government occurs much more widely in other presidential systems and is the equivalent of minority government in parliamentary regi...
Chapter
Divided government occurs when the executive fails to enjoy majority support in at least one house of the legislature. To date, the study of divided government has focused almost exclusively on the US. However, divided government occurs much more widely in other presidential systems and is the equivalent of minority government in parliamentary regi...
Chapter
This is the first volume in a two‐volume series focusing on two major influences on democratic consolidation in Eastern Europe—institutional engineering and transnational pressures. Volume 1 analyses constraints on and opportunities for institutional engineering in Eastern Europe: to what extent elites in Eastern Europe have been able to shape, if...

Network

Cited By