Alfred Stepan and Cindy Skach, “Constitutional frameworks and democratic consolidation”, World Politics 46 (1993), pp. 1-22

Main Argument: A constitutional framework lies in the following theoretically predictable and empirically observable tendencies: its greater propensity for governments to have majorities to implement their programs; its greater ability to rule in a multiparty setting; its lower propensity for executives to rule at the edge of the constitution and its greater facility at removing a chief executive who does so; its lower susceptibility to military coup; and its greater tendency to provide long party-government careers, which add loyalty and experience to political society (22)
== Notes ==
Looks at the impact of constitutions on democratic consolidation
Institutional framework –> basic rules around decision-making and government formation; creates a system of incentives (2)
A pure parliamentary regime in a democracy is a system of mutual dependence:
1. The chief executive power must be supported by a majority in the legislature and can fall if it receives a vote of no confidence
2. The executive power (normally in conjunction with the head of state) has the capacity to dissolve the legislature and call for elections
A pure presidential regime in a democracy is a system of mutual independence:
1. The legislative power has a fixed electoral mandate which is the source of legitimacy
2. The chief executive power has a fixed electoral mandate that is its own source of legitimacy. These necessary and sufficient
Two major findings emerge:
First, the “return ratio” of ministers (that is, the percentage who serve more than once in their careers) is almost three times higher in parliamentary democracies than in presidential democracies
Second, the average duration of a minister in any one appointment is almost twice as long in parliamentary democracies as it is in presidential democracies. Even when only those countries with more than twenty-five years of uninterrupted democracy are included in the sample, the findings still hold (13)
• Ministers in presidential systems have less experience than those in parliamentary systems
• They are typically only associated with one president (22)
Parliamentary democracies have two decision rules that help resolve crises of the government before they become crises of the regime:
1. A government cannot form unless it has acquired at least a “supported minority” in the legislature;
2. A government that is perceived to have lost the confidence of the legislature can be voted out of office by the simple political vote of no confidence
Presidentialism, in sharp contrast, systematically contributes to impasses and democratic breakdown. Because the president and the legislature have separate and fixed mandates, and be-cause presidents more than half of the time find themselves (17)
Presidential democracy often produces:
(1) presidents who feel they have a personal mandate
(2) presidents who do not have legislative majorities
Thus, the logic of presidentialism has a strong tendency to produce:
(1) presidents who adopt a discourse that attacks a key part of political society (the legislature and parties)
(2) presidents who increasingly attempt to rely upon a “state-people” political style and discourse that marginalizes organized groups in political society and civil society