Democratic Governance and the Challenge of Executive Dominance

John Erik Fossum contributes with a chapter co-authored with David Laycock in the newly published book Developing Democracies: Democracy, Democratization, and Development on Aarhus University Press.

About the book

The Middle East captured front pages worldwide for the alleged Arab Spring in 2011. Large segments of the populations of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria took to the streets to voice their protest against autocratic regimes and to demand democracy. Violent uprisings followed, but the prospects of liberal democracy are still uncertain and distant. No wonder. Democratization took a couple of centuries in the West. And even today, well-established Western democracies are under pressure from globalization and regionalization, and many claim representative democracy is in need of renewal.

This collection of essays focuses on a number of theoretical issues associated with democracy and democratization. Divided into three parts, the first part analyzes how democracy may be understood, explained and measured. The second part deals with issues of democracy, international stability, and development in fragile and developmental states and regions. The third part of the book looks at representative democracy in old democracies and its potential for development.

The challenge of executive dominance

Internationalisation, globalisation and Europeanisation are widely held to foster executive dominance. These processes have led to the establishment of a number of international organisations (UN, World Bank, Council of Europe), supranational entities (EU), and structured meeting places (G-8, G-20). These decision-making structures produce new forms of international-domestic entanglements that may usefully be thought of as two-level games. Such two-level games typically favour executives over parliaments, as they sit at both game boards (the international and the national).

In their chapter, John Erik Fossum and David Laycock show that the problem of executive dominance is a challenge facing democratic governance in both the EU and Canada. They moreover point to several new lines of thinking about representation and deliberation which open up possible ways of rectifying this problem, and show that an analysis of how to address this challenge benefits from a comparison of the two cases. Their contribution is included in the third part of the book, 'Representative Democracy and Democratic Renewal'.

Full info

John Erik Fossum and David Laycock
'Democratic Governance and the Challenge of Executive Dominance in International and National Settings'

In: Developing Democracies: Democracy, Democratization, and Development
Michael Böss, Jørgen Møller and Svend-Erik Skaaning (eds)

Aarhus University Press, 2013
ISBN 978-87-7124-116-7

Published June 12, 2013 12:14 PM - Last modified Aug. 21, 2017 2:35 PM