Effectiveness of political leadership in the conditions of presidential and semi-presidential democratic republics: dynamics of main indicators


The purpose of the study is to provide a comparative analysis of democratic leadership effectiveness in the relatively large presidential and semi-presidential countries of the world. Providing powerful political leadership is the essential task for presidents and institutions of the presidency in presidential and semi-presidential democratic republics. Countries with presidential and semi-presidential systems of government should be combined under the term “countries (states) with the executive presidency or presidential states (countries)” that reflects their common feature, namely: critical role of the institution of the presidency. Two main indicators of political leadership effectiveness in democratic states are the EIU’s Democracy Index (DI) and comparable GDP (PPP) per capita that reflect the current situation and comparative dynamics in the political and economic fields of societal development. The United States confidently hold economic leadership in the group of polities with an executive presidency, but the DI in this country during the last 15 years has steadily declined. In the subgroup of presidential republics, three Latin American states – Uruguay, Chile and Costa Rica – have noticeably outranked the United States (and South Korea) by the EIU’s DI. The experience of Chile deserves attention: there had been a dramatic upsurge of social unrest in late 2019, but the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, and his government took the political initiative and led the process of changing the constitution successfully. In 2020 the semi-presidential Republic of China (Taiwan) had been the absolute leader in political development and economic growth among the states with an executive presidency. The president, Tsai Ing-wen, played a crucial role in implementing and realizing democratic leadership there. Lithuania is the apparent leader in democracy and economic improvement among the European semi-presidential states during the last two decades. The next research of the author in this direction will be devoted to the comparative institutional analysis of the presidency functioning in the United States and Ukraine as the sample countries with presidential and semi-presidential systems of government systems respectively at the present stage of development.

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