Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Tom Ginsburg and Rosalind Dixon
José Antonio Cheibub and Fernando Limongi 1 INTRODUCTION Legislative-executive relations refers to the institutions that govern and the processes that characterize the interactions between two of the three conventional branches of a democratic political system (the third being, of course, the judiciary). This entails a consideration of the legal (constitutional and statutory) provisions that regulate the formation of the government, the rules for electing the legislative assembly, the way the formation of each of these branches affects the performance of the others, the rules for producing legislation, and the behavior (strategic or otherwise) of the actors that make up the ‘executive’ (the head of government and the ministers) and the ‘legislative’ (individual legislators and political parties). This is a large area of research, which could reasonably encompass everything that would traditionally go under the heading of ‘comparative government’. A thorough treatment of all these topics here is impossible for reasons of space, and so we offer a selective treatment of the issues based on our particular perspective of how studies of legislative-executive relations have evolved. In order to simplify the analysis we divide the vast and heterogeneous literature that concerns us here into two, which we call the ‘earlier’ and the ‘later’ generations of studies of legislative-executive relations. The distinctive feature of the earlier studies is that they analyze inter-branch relations as being essentially shaped by the way the chief executive and the legislators obtain their mandates. The independence or the dependence of the executive’s mandate with respect to the...
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