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Measuring presidential powers: some pitfalls of aggregate measurement


Fortin, Jessica


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Abstract The purpose of this article is to address the issues of validity and reliability in existing additive indices measuring the strength of executives. Many data efforts, such as Frye et al. (2000) as well as Armingeon and Careja (2007), propose indices of presidential power based on a simple accumulation of a set of individual constitutional prerogatives allotted to the head of state according to the design proposed by Shugart and Carey (1992). These indices usually gather and count the powers of presidents on package and partial vetoes, decrees, budgetary powers, referenda provisions, initiation of legislation, cabinet formation, cabinet dismissal, censure, and the dissolution of assemblies. Despite the general acceptance of such measures of presidential power and their widespread use, empirical investigations to ascertain the degree to which existing indices measure a single latent construct, and are valid and reliable, were never conducted. In this article, I refute the assumptions of unimodality and unidimensionality underlying these indices, and challenge their usefulness in allowing researchers to differentiate between presidential, semi-presidential, and parliamentary institutional arrangements. (author's abstract)
Thesaurusschlagwörter president; presidential system; political institution; power; structure; political power; index construction; construct; validity; measurement; reliability
Klassifikation Erhebungstechniken und Analysetechniken der Sozialwissenschaften; politische Willensbildung, politische Soziologie, politische Kultur
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2012
Seitenangabe S. 91-112
Zeitschriftentitel International Political Science Review, 34 (2012) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0192512111421357
ISSN 0192-5121
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Deposit Licence - Keine Weiterverbreitung, keine Bearbeitung
Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.