Published Sep. 25, 2017 2:40 PM

Bjørn Høyland, Sara B. Hobolt and Simon Hix

What motivates politicians to engage in legislative activities? In multilevel systems politicians may be incentivized by ambitions to advance their careers either at the state or federal level. This article argues that the design of the electoral institutions influences how politicians respond to these incentives.

Published Sep. 25, 2017 2:25 PM

Martin G. Søyland

The field of ministerial durability, showing why some ministers are dismissed and others not, has increased in size over the last decade. Specifically, linking ministerial performance through resignation calls with durability has been applied to both majoritarian and semi-presidential systems, whereas this link is less explored in consensual electoral systems. Thus, this study explores the relationship between ministerial performance and durability in postwar Norway, drawing on the principal-agent theory for parliamentary democracies and the accountability link between party leaders and ministers.

Published Sep. 14, 2017 1:01 PM

Cristina BucurJosé Antonio Cheibub

Although often conceived as nonpartisan actors, presidents wield considerable political and institutional powers in parliamentary and semipresidential democracies. Do they interfere in the government-formation process in such a way as to change the outcome that parliamentary parties would have otherwise reached? We address this issue by examining the conditions under which the parties of presidents and prime ministers are the same in parliamentary and semipresidential democracies.


Published Sep. 14, 2017 12:53 PM

Cristina Bucur

Emmanuel Macron’s election as President of the Republic and the formation of a government that includes a mix of politicians from parties on the left and right of the political spectrum, as well as a significant share of non-partisan ministers, has been hailed by numerous commentators as an unprecedented overhaul of France’s political life. This article examines how the two cabinets formed under prime minister Édouard Philippe in the shadow of the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections compare to previous governments in the Fifth Republic.

Published Sep. 14, 2017 9:01 AM

Cristina Bucur

Understanding how coalition parties in multiparty governments divide office and policy payoffs is one of the greatest challenges in political science. Gamson’s Law predicts that ministries are allocated proportionally with the coalition members’ legislative seat holding. However, doubts remain about how differences in the valuation of portfolios affect their distribution.

Published Sep. 13, 2017 5:14 PM

Yael Shomer, Gert-Jan Put and Einat Gedalya-Lavy

Scholars often mention the centrality of parties for the democratic political system. Indeed political parties are indispensable institutions for the linkage between state and society, and should not remain absent in any comparative analysis of citizens’ political attitudes. Yet, only rarely do scholars study how parties shape people’s opinion about democracy.

Published Sep. 11, 2015 4:26 PM

Jean-François Godbout and  Bjørn Høyland 

What explains the development of legislative party voting unity? Evidence from the United States and Britain indicate that partisan sorting, cohort replacement effects, electoral incentives, and agenda control contributed to enhancing party cohesion during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Here, these mechanisms are evaluated by analysing a dataset containing all the recorded votes from the Canadian House of Commons, 1867–2011.

Published Apr. 21, 2015 2:38 PM

Bjørn Erik Rasch: Regjeringsformer i demokratier: Parlamentarisme og presidentstyre (pp. 494-506).

Bjørn Erik Rasch: Flertallets kår i voterende forsamlinger (pp. 520-537).

Published Feb. 27, 2015 3:38 PM

Cristina Bucur

Although Prime Ministers (PMs) often have the constitutional right to fire ministers, their ability to exercise this power is contingent on institutional rules and party politics. This article focuses on the relative powers of Presidents, PMs and political parties over cabinet composition in semi-presidential systems. Several expectations regarding their ability to fire ministers are tested on an original dataset on the tenure of French ministers under conditions of unified government and cohabitation.

Published Sep. 29, 2014 5:46 PM

José Antonio Cheibub


In this article, I discuss the role of political institutions in democratic consolidation. Regarding the forms of democratic government, I like to think that there are essentially two: those with a separation of powers and those that require assembly confidence. The first are typical presidential democracies, systems with constitutions that prescribe a fixed term in office for both a popularly and independently elected president and a congress. The second are the parliamentary (and semi-presidential) democracies, in which the government must be at least tolerated by a parliamentary majority in order to exist. I will therefore focus on the effect of political institutions, whether parliamentary or presidential, on democratic consolidation. 

Published Sep. 29, 2014 4:52 PM

José Antonio Cheibub and Fernando Limongi


This chapter seeks to characterize both the earlier and the later studies of legislative-executive relations. Section II deals with the former, focusing on parliamentary and presidential systems. We also discuss studies of semi-presidential systems, which are of more recent origin but increasingly popular after the end of the Cold War. Yet, as we will show, the research questions guiding studies of semi-presidentialism have been informed primarily by the questions raised by the earlier paradigm contrasting parliamentary and presidential systems. 

Published Sep. 29, 2014 10:38 AM

Shane Martin

Whereas numerous recent studies have explored the structural and procedural ability of national parliaments to provide oversight of transnational issues such as European integration, the nature of individual parliamentarians' interest in foreign policy is a subject that has received little attention. The general assumption is that electoral incentives and informational deficiencies dissuade parliamentarians from actively engaging politics beyond the domestic realm. 


Published Sep. 29, 2014 10:23 AM

Shane Martin

A significant and influential body of research suggests that electoral systems influence legislators’ behavior. Yet, empirical research frequently fails to uncover the existence of such a relationship. This study offers a potential solution: The core suggestion is that the mechanisms by which prized post-election positions (mega-seats) are distributed within a legislature impacts legislative behavior. When party leaders cartelize the allocation of mega-seats, the anticipated effects of the electoral system on legislators’ behavior may dissolve. Ireland’s candidate-centered electoral system and party-controlled mega-seat allocation provides for a hard empirical test of the argument.

Published Sep. 25, 2014 1:52 PM

Shane Martin


Parties are not unitary actors, and legislators within the same party may have divergent interests, which complicates the understanding of parties’ motivations and behaviour. This article argues that holding a ministerial portfolio confers an electoral advantage, and so, in contrast to their co-partisans, politicians who are ministers simultaneously maximize policy, office and votes.

Published Sep. 24, 2014 10:10 AM

Shane Martin and Bjørn Erik Rasch

This chapter explores why constitutions are changed. The chapter begins with an overview of why constitutional design and redesign are important questions. The second section provides a background to the study of constitutional change which has tended to be embedded within legal scholarship rather than political science.