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Political institutions, executive-legislative relationship and government performance

Abstract

This project is a sequence of two previous versions and keeps its analytical and methodological objectives. It aims to show the importance of two institutional variables - the legislative powers of the executive and the structure of legislative organization - in determining the pattern of relationship between the executive 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 two 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. We intend to discuss two themes, to compare political parties from an organizational point of view in the two periods and to assess the effects of the way the two constitutions were written over their substantive content. 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. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
El presidencialismo se mueve 
Presidential Government Makes its Move