Response to Prof. Okazaki’s review of my Beyond Presidentialism and Parliamentarism: Democratic Design and the Separation of Powers, Oxford University Press, 2021.

 I am grateful to Prof. Okazaki for engaging with my book and welcome the opportunity to briefly respond to his review.
 My book explores a particular constitutional design of democracy called ‘semi-parliamentary government’. It analyzes cases that fulfill minimal conditions of a semi-parliamentary system (the Australian Commonwealth, the bicameral Australian states and Japan) and discusses the potential of various new semi-parliamentary designs. Prof. Okazaki’s review focuses on the latter and on one specific design in particular. This focus may lead to misunderstandings about the book’s main arguments.
 First, he states that only if there is a randomly selected second chamber, can there be a separation of powers. This is incorrect. The bicameral separation of powers and the method of selecting the second chamber are two separable features of any constitutional design. What is true is that one particular design option (pp. 135-8), which does not require two separate chambers, might in some sense reduce the degree of the separation of powers. It does so on purpose. According to this proposal, parties and voters could reduce the degree of powers-separation to the extent that they are able to coordinate on two competing pre-electoral coalitions before the election. Other designs of semi-parliamentary government, including all existing forms of semi-parliamentary bicameralism, do not share this feature.
 Second, Prof. Okazaki makes two related claims: (a) that a randomly selected second chamber should be able to dismiss the government in a no-confidence vote and (b) that this requires a revision of the definition of semi-parliamentarism. The first claim is questionable, given what we know about how parliaments work. A randomly selected second chamber would probably be ill-suited to select a government and to provide continuing confidence to it. The second claim misunderstands the concept of semi-parliamentary government as well as the conception of the separation of powers used in the book. The second chamber’s lack of a no-confidence vote is what constitutes the separation of powers in the first place. The very point of the concept of semi-parliamentary government is to define a system in which the second chamber is at least as democratically legitimate as the first chamber (and has robust legislative veto power) but does not have a no-confidence vote. The kind of system that Prof. Okazaki envisions would be more akin to the bicameral parliamentary system we find in Italy.
 Third, given his own preference for a randomly selected second chamber, Prof. Okazaki correctly notes that the competing goals in designing the elected chamber (identifiability/accountability versus proportionality) would have to be reconciled differently – to the extent that this is possible. To do this, he plausibly suggests proportional representation with a majority bonus. However, he also claims that the semi-parliamentary system “is weak in reconciling the ideal of identifiability and accountability and the ideal of proportionality.” This claim is incorrect and neglects the empirical evidence presented in chapters 5 and 6. In fact, there is an obvious way in which semi-parliamentary systems are better at reconciling the respective goals: they do not require any disproportionality in the second chamber to achieve the identifiability of competing governments in the first chamber. However, they pay the price of the separation of powers: the government is likely to lack a majority in proportional second chamber. This also reduces accountability. Parliamentarism with a majority bonus has a clear advantage in this respect, but it pays the price of significant disproportionality. Moreover, it pursues the goals of identifiability and accountability by means of an arbitrary seat bonus rather than by relying on the actual votes of citizens. This may be an important disadvantage in terms of democratic legitimacy.
 My book’s main argument is that semi-parliamentary government is superior to presidential government. It does not claim that semi-parliamentarism or any particular version of it is the best system overall. Careful decisions about constitutional design require further theoretical discussion and empirical research. I thank Prof. Okazaki for engaging in this important debate.

GANGHOF, Steffen (University of Potsdam, Germany)
posted by 主催者 at 07:37| Comment(0) | 主催者


【紹介】 宇野重規「ベルリンで考える政治思想・政治哲学の「いま」」

@ マルクス生誕200周年を考える
A メルケル首相を考える
B カトリック・グローバリズムを考える
C ドイツで日本研究を考える
D 東ベルリンを考える
posted by 主催者 at 07:55| Comment(0) | 主催者


【紹介】 ≪書評企画≫井上彰『正義・平等・責任』、『相関社会科学』第27号、2018年3月、73-102頁。


posted by 主催者 at 20:36| Comment(0) | 主催者


【紹介】 杉田敦編『デモクラシーとセキュリティ──グローバル化時代の政治を問い直す』(法律文化社、2018年)。

序 章 杉田敦「グローバル化と政治の危機」【PDF
第1章 押村高「グローバル化時代の集団的自己決定」
第2章 田村哲樹「資本主義と民主主義はなおも両立可能か」
第3章 五野井郁夫「戦争と難民の世紀からテロリズムの世紀へ」
第4章 千葉眞「代表制,参加,民主主義の民主化」
第5章 白川俊介「リベラル・デモクラシーを下支えする「公共精神」を
第6章 前田幸男「領土と主権に関する政治理論上の一考察」
第7章 高橋良輔「ポスト・ヘゲモニー時代の国際秩序思想」
第8章 山崎望「例外状態における正統性をめぐる政治」

posted by 主催者 at 13:01| Comment(0) | 主催者


【紹介】 『法学志林』故松下圭一名誉教授追悼号(第114巻第3号[第780号]、2017年3月)。

・「松下圭一教授 略年譜・著書一覧」

posted by 主催者 at 20:57| Comment(0) | 主催者



 日本における政治理論(political theory)の発展のために、オンライン書評誌『政治理論フォーラム』を創刊します。ご承知のように、海外、特に英語圏では膨大な数の政治理論関連の書籍が公刊されており、それらをフォローしていくのは至難の業です。それらの文献情報を共有することができれば、日本における政治理論研究はいっそう発展していくに違いありません。この趣旨に賛同し、政治理論関連の洋書の書評を定期的に(年2本以上を目安)寄稿してくださる方は、主催者までご連絡ください(aktiv【アットマーク】aqua.ocn.ne.jp)。書評の対象や分量は自由です。また、自著等の紹介も歓迎します。なお、このオンライン書評誌は、主催者の公務の一環として、責任をもって運営していく所存です。(主催者)

追記 ご意見を踏まえ、「年2本以上」を「年2本以上を目安」に変更しました。(5月18日)
posted by 主催者 at 21:14| Comment(0) | 主催者