Executive leadership and legislative assemblies: Latin America

Calvert, Peter (2004) Executive leadership and legislative assemblies: Latin America. Journal of Legislative Studies, 10, (2-3), 218-229. (doi:10.1080/1357233042000322328).


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Most people still think of Latin American systems as characterised by weak legislatures dominated by the executive. It is the legislatures, not the presidents, that are blamed for any shortcomings and the literature tends to focus on executive–legislative relations, to the neglect of other relevant variables such as recruitment, career patterns, committee structures, legislative processes and so on.

The cases of Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela all support the thesis that legislative behaviour is dependent on certain institutional conditions. Where it exists, federalism is crucial. Next to it comes the nature of the electoral system, the use of different systems for the choice of president and congress, and the staggering of executive and legislative elections. Constitutional provision for a strong presidency, especially the widespread existence and use of decree powers to override legislative ‘obstruction’, has failed in face of the electorates' opposition to the ‘Washington Consensus’.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/1357233042000322328
Additional Information: Issue: 2-3 Summer, Autumn 2004
ISSNs: 1357-2334 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
ePrint ID: 35055
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 19 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:02
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35055

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