David Arter
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Nordic government(s)
Parliamentary, presidential or prime ministerial?
in Scandinavian politics today
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This chapter focuses on the executive-parties dimension and in particular on two striking differences in the nature of the political executive across the Nordic region. First, there is the contrast, in Arend Lijphart's terms, between the executive-legislative balance systems of the 'metropolitan' Scandinavian states of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and the executive dominant systems of Finland and Iceland. Second, there is the contrast, in Maurice Duverger's terms, between the semi-presidential systems of Finland and Iceland and the parliamentary governments in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The chapter examines whether a fundamental convergence across the region has witnessed the emergence of prime minister-dominant parliamentary executives. In contrast to Richard Rose, the leadership role of the prime minister and the increased importance and power of the office have been emphasised in the Scandinavian literature.

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