Presidents and Parliaments: The Institutional Foundation of Divided Government

In this presentation, I examine how the rules of indirect presidential selection in four post-communist democracies (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, and Latvia) have shaped the ability of the incumbent governing coalition to have its presidential candidate elected. In particular, based on the expectation that similarity in rules leads to similarities in outcomes, I will show that the more congruent the presidential and prime ministerial selection processes are the greater the likelihood that the same coalition will capture both offices. If and when the presidential selection requires a special majority that is very different from what the selection of the prime minister required then the outcome of the two processes should reflect this difference.

Csaba Nikolenyi received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2000 and was hired by Concordia University the same year. His research focusses on the comparative study of political parties, electoral systems and legislatures in post-communist democracies as well as on the political systems of Israel and India. He was former English Co-Editor of the Canadian Journal of Political Science (2006-11). He served as Code Administrator in the Faculty of Arts and Science between 2009 and 2011 and as Chair of the Department of Political Science between 2011 and 2014. Currently, he is the Director of the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies. Dr. Nikolenyi has published extensively in comparative politics journals and has authored two books: Minority Government in India (Routledge 2010) and Institutional Design and Party Government in Post-Communist Democracies (Oxford University Press, 2014). He was a Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2007-8) and the Centre for European Studies at the Australian National University (2012).

This event is organised by the ANU Centre for European Studies.

Date & time

Tue 30 Sep 2014, 12am


ANU Centre for European Studies (Building 67C), 1 Liversidge Street, ANU


Professor Csaba Nikolenyi, Concordia University, Canada


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