Politics of Presidential Term Limits

ISBN : 9780198837404

Alexander Baturo; Robert Elgie
640 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Presidential term limits restrict the maximum length of time that presidents can serve in office. They stipulate the length of term the presidents can serve between elections and the number of terms that presidents are permitted to serve. While comparative scholarship has long studied important institutions such presidentialism vs. parliamentarism and the effects of different electoral systems, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the role and effects of presidential term limits. Yet presidential term limits and term lengths are one of the most fundamental institutions of democracy. By ensuring compulsory rotation in office, they are at the heart of a democratic dilemma. What is the appropriate trade-off between allowing the unrestricted selection of candidates at presidential elections vs. restricting selection procedures to prevent the possibility of dictatorial takeover by presidents who are unwilling to step down?

In the context of a long and on-going history of changes to presidential term limits and the many and varied ways in which term limits have been both applied and avoided, this book explains the factors behind the introduction, stability, abolition, and avoidance of presidential term limits, as well as the consequences of changes to presidential term limits, and it does so in the context of non-democracies, third-wave countries, and consolidated democracies. It includes comparative, theoretical, and practitioner-oriented chapters, as well as detailed country case studies of presidential term limits across the world and over time.


1 Alexander Baturo and Robert Elgie: Presidential Term Limits
2 Peter Stone: Theorizing Presidential Rotation
3 Tom Ginsburg and Zachary Elkins: One Size Does Not Fit All: The Provision and Interpretation of Presidential Term Limits
4 David Landau, Yaniv Roznai, and Rosalind Dixon: Term Limits and the Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendment Doctrine: Lessons from Latin America
5 Alexander Baturo: Continuismo in Comparison: Avoidance, Extension, and Removal of Presidential Term Limits
6 Leiv Marsteintredet: Presidential Term Limits in Latin America: ca. 1820-1985
7 Octavio Amorim Neto and Igor P. Acacio: Presidential Term Limits as a Credible-Commitment Mechanism: The Case of Brazil's Military Regime
8 Joseph L. Klesner: The Politics of Presidential Term Limits in Mexico
9 David Close: Presidential term limits in Nicaragua
10 Alessandra Bonci and Francesco Cavatorta: The Politics of Presidential Term Limits in Tunisia
11 John R. Heilbrunn: Presidential Term Limits in Togo: Electoral Accountability Postponed
12 Dmitry Nurumov and Vasil Vashchanka: Presidential terms in Kazakhstan: Less is More?
13 Zhengxu Wang and Anastas Vangeli: China: Limiting and Regularizing Top Political Power
14 Natasha Ezrow: Term Limits and Succession in Dictatorships
15 Peter VonDoepp: The Politics of Presidential Term Limits in Malawi
16 Nic Cheeseman: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Term-limits, elections, and political change in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia
17 Charlotte Heyl: Senegal (1970-2016): Presidential Term Limit Reforms Never Come Alone
18 Sophia Moestrup: Presidential Term Limits in Burkina Faso
19 Paul Chaisty: The Uses and Abuses of Presidential Term Limits in Russian Politics
20 Michael J. Korzi: The Politics of Presidential Term Limits in the US
21 Robert Elgie: Presidential Term Limits in Europe
22 Fiona Yap: Term Limits in South Korea: Promises and Perils
23 Mariana Llanos: The Politics of Presidential Term Limits in Argentina
24 Juan Munoz-Portillo and Ilka Treminio: The Politics of Presidential Term Limits in Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras
25 Jose Antonio Cheibub and Alejandro Medina: The Politics of Presidential Term Limits in Latin America - From Redemocratization to Today
26 David Doyle: Presidential Term Limits in Bolivia
27 Christina Murray, Eric Alston and Micha Wiebusch: Presidential Term Limits and the International Community
28 Akisato Suzuki: Effects of Presidential Term Limits
29 Alexander Baturo and Robert Elgie: What have we learned about presidential term limits?


Alexander Baturo is Associate Professor of Government, Dublin City University, Ireland. His research is centered on comparative democratization, leadership, and the United Nations. His articles have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, and Public Choice. His book, Democracy, Dictatorship, and Term Limits, was published by the Michigan University Press in 2014, and won the 2015 Brian Farrell prize for the best book from the Political Science Association of Ireland. He also consults for the international organisations and NGOs; his research has been cited, inter alia in the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Tages Anzeiger.; Robert Elgie is Paddy Moriarty Professor of Government and International Studies at Dublin City University, Ireland and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). He has published numerous books, including Semi-presidentialism: Sub-types and Democratic Performance (OUP, 2011) and Political Leadership: A Pragmatic Institutionalist Approach (2018). He has published in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, and Journal of Democracy. He is the editor of the journal French Politics, which is published by Palgrave Macmillan, the Review Editor for Government and Opposition, as well as the founder and co-editor with Sona Golder and Shane Martin of the Politics of Institutions series with Oxford University Press.