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Federalism and the Limits of Presidential Powers: The Case of the Argentine Senate

Kikuchi, Hirokazu (2013) Federalism and the Limits of Presidential Powers: The Case of the Argentine Senate. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Under what conditions can subnational governments be national veto players? Many studies of federal countries have regarded governors as national veto players even though they do not have such a constitutional status. However, the statistical tests of comparative legislative studies and those of comparative federalism have not succeeded in showing gubernatorial effects on a national political arena. In this dissertation, I study the conditions under which governors can be national veto players by focusing on the treatment of presidential bills between 1983 and 2007 in the Argentine Senate. The dissertation shows that the Senate serves as an arena for subnational governments to influence national politics. Developing a theory about the subnational electoral connection, according to which national legislators represent political actors at the subnational level in order to advance their careers, I claim that senators strategically choose their actions according to their institutional positions. Using qualitative and quantitative evidence from committee decisions and floor voting at the Senate, I argue that only governors with tenure stability can be national veto players by making their senators shelve unwelcome presidential initiatives in committees.
This dissertation makes three contributions to comparative politics and to the studies of Argentine politics. First, by developing a theory of the subnational electoral connection, this study sheds light on an institutional mechanism: tenure stability of governors and their control over the candidate selection process allow subnational governments to be national veto players through their senators. Second, it also reveals that legislators under the same electoral rules may face different principals, and that they adjust their credit-claiming and position-taking strategies according to their institutional positions. Third, by studying committee decisions as well as floor voting at the Senate, this dissertation shows that committees have a considerable influence over the presidents’ legislative success.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kikuchi, Hirokazuhik7@pitt.eduHIK7
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPérez-Liñán, Aníbalasp27@pitt.eduASP27
Committee MemberCalvo,
Committee MemberMorgenstern, Scottsmorgens@pitt.eduSMORGENS
Committee MemberVictor,
Date: 29 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 November 2012
Approval Date: 29 January 2013
Submission Date: 20 November 2012
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 335
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: legislative politics, Argentine politics, federalism, governors, executive-legislative relations
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 19:36
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2018 06:15


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