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Constraining Executive Action: The Role of Legislator Professionalization in Latin America

Shair-Rosenfield, Sarah and Stoyan, Alissandra T (2017) 'Constraining Executive Action: The Role of Legislator Professionalization in Latin America.' Governance, 30 (2). pp. 301-319. ISSN 0952-1895

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What explains the failure of legislatures with strong constitutionally endowed powers to exert themselves over the executive in practice? We examine the role of legislator professionalization in strengthening the legislature's ability to constrain executive action, conceptualizing legislator professionalization as prior legislative experience and prior professional work experience. We argue that more professionalized legislators, through the skill and knowledge they bring to the policymaking process from prior experience, will be better equipped to challenge executive authority. In a sample of four Latin American countries from 1990 through 2010, we find that legislatures are more likely to curb executive decree issuance when individual legislators are strongly professionalized, controlling for constitutional powers and several other partisan and political factors. Our findings suggest that legislatures composed of more professionalized legislators can constrain executive action, especially in the context of a unified political opposition in the legislature.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2021 15:25
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:11

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