Who gets legislation passed in a marginal legislature and is the label marginal legislature still appropriate? A study of the Honduran Congress Academic Article uri icon


  • This article explores who gets legislation passed in a marginal legislature and what types of legislation it is? Mezey defines a marginal legislature as one with modest policy-making power and little support from political elites. The assumption in Latin American politics is that assemblies are marginal, rubber stamps for the executive. The case of the Honduran Congress is used to empirically test these assumptions. As expected, the executive sponsors most of the bills that become law. However, deputies also sponsor significant numbers of national-level bills and laws. In addition, deputies do not pass much particularistic and local-level legislation that could enhance their local patron status. These findings call into question the continued utility of Mezey's typology of legislatures given the new realities of the third wave of democracy. A new method of classifying legislatures is proposed based on the incentives that deputies have to act independent of the executive.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Taylor-Robinson, M. M., & Diaz, C.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Taylor-Robinson, MM||Diaz, C

publication date

  • January 1999