The presidentialization of political parties in Germany

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Abstract

Germany is a parliamentary system, but is an interesting case in the context of this volume because it raises the possibility, acknowledged by Samuels and Shugart, that Germany might be one of the instances in which we could find “presidentialized features” (2010, p. 16) in a parliamentary system. The reason for this is that the degree of executive authority the Basic Law invests in the post of chancellor under Germany’s system of chancellor democracy (Mayntz, 1980) constitutes a different kind of relationship between the party as principal and the chief executive as agent. Nevertheless, as this chapter will reveal, the power of the chancellor is not fully institutionalized but is rather contingent on the individual chancellor’s political skillset and subsequent ability to control the executive and his or her own party. Thus, in as far as we can “apply” the concept of presidentialization to the German case, it is as a potential outlier along the distribution of parliamentary systems, rather than as a bone fide exception to the rule that “party behavior and organization will tend to mimic constitutional structure” (Samuels and Shugart, 2010a, p. 15).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Presidentialization of Political Parties
Subtitle of host publicationOrganizations, Institutions and Leaders
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages178-195
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781137482464
ISBN (Print)9781137482464
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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    Lees, C. S. (2015). The presidentialization of political parties in Germany. In The Presidentialization of Political Parties: Organizations, Institutions and Leaders (pp. 178-195). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137482464_10