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Political institutions, executive-legislative relationship and government performance


This project is a sequence of a previous one and keeps its analytical and methodological objectives. It aims to show the importance of two institutional variables: the legislative power of the executive and the structure of legislative organization - in determining the pattern of relationship between the executive and the legislature and governmental performance. In accordance with the conventional wisdom in comparative studies it assumes the explanatory power of institutional variables, but it questions the dominant use in this literature of variables related to the form of government and the electoral and party systems. From the methodological point of view, the project aims to assess, as systematically and empirically based as possible, the effect of institutional agenda powers on the functioning of democratic systems. The project comprises three lines of investigation. The first aims to compare the performance of multiparty presidentialism in Brazil during the 1946-64 democratic experience and the post 1988 democracy. This comparative analysis allows us to control the effect of the institutional variables focused, since the 1946 and 1988 constitutions do not vary with respect to the electoral and party systems and the form of government, but they are significantly different with respect to the legislative powers of the executive. In the same way, current internal regulations contributed to the centralization of the legislative process. The second line of investigation consists of a wide comparative study, across parliamentary and presidential regimes, covering 134 countries from 1960 to 2000. The main objective is to verify if the differences found by other studies between the survival and performance of these two systems of government persist when controlled by the variables related to the characteristics of the decision-making process that we identified in the study of the Brazilian case. Finally, the third subproject is a study of the Brazilian budgetary process and policy outcomes. The analysis of a specific policy aims to identify the conditions under which political actors operate the available institutional mechanisms. It is also seeks to assess the impact of institutional changes on policy outcomes, since regulations of the budgetary process has changed significantly after 1995. On the other hand, this is a particularly fitting policy area to examine the weight of the electoral connection on allocation decisions. (AU)

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