The book

Presidential Activism and Veto Power in Central and Eastern Europe

Palgrave Macmillan 2017 – Palgrave Studies in Presidential Politics

  • One of the first comprehensive comparative studies of presidential veto power in Europe
  • Selects innovative case studies from nine democracies across Central and Eastern Europe
  • Relies on new quantitative data and unique insights from elite interviews
  • Winner of the ECPR Jean Blondel Prize 2016

Presidential powers feature prominently in academic debates. Paradoxically, until now only few scholars have tried to analyse and explain how presidential actually use them.

This book examines the use of presidential powers in Central and East Europe between 1990 and 2010. Focussing on presidential vetoes and the formation of governments, it maps patterns of presidential activism and its determinants across nine democracies. Thereby, it combines the analysis of original quantitative data on the use of presidential powers with in-depth case studies in an innovative mixed-methods framework. Based on regression analyses and unique insights from numerous elite interviews, the study shows strong support for the hitherto insufficiently tested assumption that popularly elected presidents are more active than their indirectly elected counterparts. As one of the first comprehensive comparative studies of presidential activism and veto power in Europe, this book will be a key resource not only for area specialists but also for scholars of presidential studies, comparative government, and executives.

“This unique and impressive study constitutes a major contribution to the comparative analysis of presidents in parliamentary democracies. The original findings are based on superb theoretical reflections and a persuasive quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis that provides a compelling examination of why presidents’ activities and their veto power differ across Central and Eastern European countries. The book is an inspiration for scholars of comparative government. It has set a new approach of excellence for those seeking to understand presidential activism in other democracies across the globe.”
Ferdinand Müller-Rommel, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany 

About the author:
Philipp Köker is a Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. He specialises in the comparative study of presidents and political parties in contemporary political regimes. The book is based on his PhD thesis on presidential activism which won the ECPR Jean Blondel PhD Prize 2016.
Twitter: @PhilippKoeker