Workshop 1: Constitutional Democracy: Executive-Legislative Relations under Parliamentarism
Organized by Eivind Smith and Bjørn Erik Rasch
The vast majority of today’s democracies have adopted one version or another of parliamentarism as their system of government. With the exception of United States and Switzerland the oldest democracies in the world are parliamentary. Also, parliamentarism are more common among recent constitutions than presidentialism (which is the main alternative).
Even if the earliest instances of parliamentary government evolved gradually in the nineteenth century, typically through mental and practical evolutions within the pre-established constitutional framework and without formal recognition, parliamentarism today tends to be a regime type that is the product of conscious constitutional design, presumably as much as presidentialism. Yet, beyond the basic principle that defines them (i.e. that the government somehow emerges from, and remains responsible to, the national parliament), parliamentary systems vary considerably in the way they are organized and function.
The purpose of this workshop is to focus on the background, causes and consequences of this variation in executive-legislative relations under parliamentarism, including its semi-presidential variants and with the possibility of studying the role of the judiciary (or other “external” bodies”) as guardians of the basic executive-legislative rules and mechanisms as well.