Constrained Presidential Power in Africa? Legislative Independence and Executive Rule-Making in Kenya, 1963-2013

Opalo, Ken Ochieng'. "Constrained Presidential Power in Africa? Legislative Independence and Executive Rule-Making in Kenya, 1963-2013" British Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming

44 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2017 Last revised: 7 Apr 2020

See all articles by Ken Ochieng' Opalo

Ken Ochieng' Opalo

Georgetown University; Brookings Institution; Center for Global Development

Date Written: December 20, 2017

Abstract

Do institutions constrain presidential power in Africa? Conventional wisdom holds that personalist rule grants African presidents unchecked powers. Consequently, very little research exists on African institutions and their impact on executive authority. In this paper, I use original data on the exercise of presidential authority (issuance of subsidiary legislation) to examine how legislative independence conditions presidential rule-making in Kenya. Exploiting quasi-exogenous changes in legislative independence, I find that Kenyan presidents issue relatively more legal notices under periods of legislative weakness but are constrained from doing so under periods of legislative independence. These findings shed new light on institutional politics in Kenya, and illustrate how executive-legislative relations in the country conform to standard predictions in the literature on unilateral executive action.

Keywords: Presidential Power, Executive-Legislative Relations, Institutional Politics in Africa, Africa, Kenya

JEL Classification: D72, D73, D78, N47, N77, N27, P16, P48

Suggested Citation

Opalo, Ken Ochieng', Constrained Presidential Power in Africa? Legislative Independence and Executive Rule-Making in Kenya, 1963-2013 (December 20, 2017). Opalo, Ken Ochieng'. "Constrained Presidential Power in Africa? Legislative Independence and Executive Rule-Making in Kenya, 1963-2013" British Journal of Political Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3072490 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3072490

Ken Ochieng' Opalo (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
200
Abstract Views
1,487
rank
171,327
PlumX Metrics