Explaining the ebb and flow of legislative power
The balance of power between executive and legislative branches in Latin American governments has varied significantly over time. But this is not the result of changes in the formal division of powers between the two branches. What explains the ebb and flow of legislative strength? Sarah Shair-Rosenfield and Alissandra Stoyan argue that a key factor is “legislator professionalization,” which they define as a function of prior legislative and professional work experience. Examining the track record of four Latin American countries, they find that legislaturesare more likely to curb executive power when legislators are strongly professionalized, controlling for constitutional provisions and several other factors. Read the article.