Advocates of parliamentary rule have been highly critical of presidentialism for dividing powers and providing the opportunity for gridlock between branches. Yet the great theorists of presidential rule saw in the same institutions a desirable combination of strong leadership with checks on executive discretion. These diverse assessments arise because we have surprisingly little comparative work on how presidential democracies function. The essays in this volume show, through case studies from Asia, Latin America, and Central Europe, how presidential democracies deal with the challenges of economic reform.
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