Checking Presidential Power
A central concern about the robustness of democratic
rule in new democracies is the concentration of power in the executive branch and the potential this creates for abuse. This
concern is felt particularly with regard to the concentration of legislative power. Checking Presidential Power explains the
levels of reliance on executive decrees in a comparative perspective. Building on the idea of institutional commitment, which
affects the enforcement of decision-making rules, Palanza describes the degree to which countries rely on executive decree
authority as more reliance may lead to unbalanced presidential systems and will ultimately affect democratic quality. Breaking
new ground by both theorizing and empirically analyzing decree authority from a comparative perspective, this book examines
policy making in separation of powers systems. It explains the choice between decrees and statutes, and why legislators are
sometimes profoundly engaged in the legislative process and yet other times entirely withdrawn from it.
a choice of paths behind each policy; 2. Decrees versus statutes: choice of legislative paths in separation of powers systems;
3. Institutions and institutional commitment; 4. Reinstatement of congressional decision rights: Brazil; 5. A corollary of
low levels of institutional commitment: Argentina; 6. The choice of legislative paths in comparative perspective; 7. Conclusions:
rules, institutional commitment, and checks on presidents.
Provides the first comparative look into executive decree
authority. It explains why presidents issue decrees and why checks and balances sometimes fail.