Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Miguel De Luca
Presidentialism is one of the three major organizational models for government institutions in contemporary representative democracies. This entry discusses its conceptualization, reviews its origins and diffusion, summarizes its different varieties, provides an outline of the debates about its advantages and disadvantages, and evaluates its current relationship with democracy. Presidentialism can be defined by the simultaneous presence of three characteristics. The first is the existence of two agents of the electorate: a chief of government—known as president—and a legislative assembly—usually known as congress—both of which are elected separately and by popular vote. The second characteristic is that both the president and members of congress are elected for preestablished fixed terms, which means that each agent's survival does not depend on the other's confidence. The president cannot be removed by a legislative vote of no confidence on political grounds. While the president can be removed through impeachment proceedings, impeachment is intended as ...