Thu, Mar 5

POL 307-800, European Politics
Spring 2020 |



In focus (187)

  1. Can you make an argument that one type of system (presidential or parliamentary) is more "democratic" than the other? [Explain.]
  2. Why might it be that parliamentary systems are more common than presidential ones in Europe?

Is Europe one? (195)

  1. The notion that political executives—presidents and prime ministers—have gained at the expense of parliaments is not confined only to Europe. Why might this be the case?
  2. What might be done to prevent concentration of executive power?

Application questions (198-199)

  1. Why have several European states retained a constitutional monarchy? What purposes do monarchs serve? Why are they often popular with their subjects?
  2. Coalitions can be hard to manage. What might be some advantages of a coalition government?
  3. Some data seem to suggest that parliamentary systems perform better than presidential ones. From this record, would you suggest that a country with a presidential system or semi-presidential system (e.g., France, the US) adopt a parliamentary system? What problems might a parliamentary system create?
  4. Why do you think some countries are more corrupt than others? What practical steps can be undertaken to combat corruption?
  5. Is "presidentialization" a worrying trend? How might this affect the quality of democracy (e.g., accountability, efficiency) in Europe?