2019-10-25Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1177/0192512119871323
Institutional interests and the politics of constitutional amendment
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institutional interests are often the main determinant of day-to-day politics. However, do they also matter in the more consensus-oriented field of constitutional politics? To answer this question, this article examines the success and failure of constitutional amendment drafts. We reassess a hypothesis proposed by Donald S. Lutz more than 20 years ago, according to which the initiator of an amendment is a significant determinant of its success, that is, of its passing or not passing. This study is based on a unique dataset of successful and failed constitutional amendments, covering 18 post-socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe (1990–2014). We demonstrate that the chances of success for a given constitutional amendment are clearly driven by institutional interests: cabinet and presidential proposals have significantly higher chances of success than parliamentary and public initiatives. Additionally, success or failure also depend on the level of democracy and the rigidity of the amendment process.
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This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.