Minority governments, deadlock situations, and the survival of presidential democracies Academic Article uri icon


  • What are the conditions that generate minority presidents, minority governments, and deadlock in presidential regimes? What is the impact of minority presidents, minority governments, and deadlock on the survival of these regimes? Based on data for all presidential democracies that existed between 1946 and 1996, the author shows (a) that characteristics of the electoral and party systems do affect the level of support for the president in congress and hence the probability of minority presidents and minority governments; (b) that these characteristics, and the minority governments they generate, do not make deadlock more likely; and (c) that minority presidents, minority governments, and deadlock do not affect the survival of presidential democracies. Together, these findings suggest that the view that explains the instability of presidential democracies in terms of the type of executive-legislative relations these regimes are likely to induce must be abandoned. The author offers two reasons, institutional in nature, that may account for the instability of presidential regimes.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Cheibub, J. A.

citation count

  • 82

complete list of authors

  • Cheibub, JA

publication date

  • January 2002