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Presidents with Prime MinistersDo Direct Elections Matter?$
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Margit Tavits

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553327

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553327.001.0001

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The Activism of Indirectly and Directly Elected Presidents

The Activism of Indirectly and Directly Elected Presidents

(p.58) 3 The Activism of Indirectly and Directly Elected Presidents
Presidents with Prime Ministers

Margit Tavits (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues to evaluate the effect of selection methods on presidential activism with a thorough investigation of countries employing indirect (Estonia, Hungary, Germany) or direct (Austria, Ireland, Poland) presidential elections. Case study analysis allows for the consideration of other aspects of activism in addition to the president's role in cabinet formation, including the use of veto, appointment, and legislative powers; initiation of public debates; and intervention in international affairs. The study of presidential behavior in all six countries reveals significant amount of variance in how actively presidents use these powers among countries with similar election method. The latter, therefore, cannot account for the observed variance. Presidents selected through different processes can either be active or passive depending on whether other institutions provide incentives and opportunities conducive to their activism.

Keywords:   appointment power, Austria, direct presidential elections, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, indirect presidential elections, Ireland, legislative powers, Poland, presidential activism, veto power

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