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IS-DAAD-Forskerutveksl. Norge-Tyskland

Presidents who die too soon and presidents who live too long. Term Limits and succession in Presidential regimes

Tildelt: kr 87 303

This project seeks to bring together two different, but inter-connected research agendas that are being developed in parallel by the applicants at the GIGA in Hamburg and the University of Bergen. These agendas deal with a common preoccupation for the stability and the quality of democratic institutions, focusing on the apex of power, the elected chief executives, and the constitutional constraints on incumbents, particularly on the rules regulating their tenure: presidential term limits and presidential succession. While term limits are defined as the length and number of times a president may rule, succession rules define how transition from power from one president to the next occurs and who is allowed to succeed the incumbent. These rules are often negotiated and changed, or decided by fiat by an authoritarian president because, more often than not, incumbents seek to control the terms of their own retirement, first of all, by postponing the date of departure as long as possible (ideally, by removing term limits), and second, by controlling who will succeed them. As Baturo (2014) argues in his book “Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits”, presidents who manipulate and extend their term limits tend to experience less orderly forms of succession. In fact, presidents without term limits have a higher risk of being the victims of a coup, assassination, or other forms of non-constitutional removals. This topic is highly relevant today when the world is experiencing a democratic backsliding. These new challenges to democracy often come from within the realm of civilian politics. Key to these processes are often incumbents' manipulation of both term limits and rules of succession. Combining the study of these two aspects of presidential regimes will allow us to explore better the mechanism and processes of democratic backsliding.


IS-DAAD-Forskerutveksl. Norge-Tyskland