Explaining Chief Executive Empowerment: European Union Summitry and Domestic Institutional Change
West European Politics 33 (2): 208-236, 2010
30 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2012
Date Written: 2010
One of the most prominent trends in the organization of European parliamentary democracies is the empowerment of chief executives. This article submits that an important contributing reason for this development is summit decision-making in the European Union (EU), which requires states to confer additional authority, discretion, and resources on chief executives. The effects are long-term shifts in the domestic institutional balance of power between the executive and the legislature, as well as within the executive branch. The explanatory power of this argument is tested through a case study of chief executive empowerment in Sweden, as well as comparative qualitative evidence from a broader set of European states. The findings carry implications for research on the presidentialization of politics, the domestic implications of international cooperation, and the Europeanization of EU member countries.
Keywords: European Union, chief executives, prime ministers, presidentialization, Europeanization, European Council
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