Center for Constitutional Transitions & International IDEA

Semi-Presidentialism as Power Sharing: Constitutional reform after the Arab Spring

The Constitutional Transitions Clinic ‘back office’ is preparing a series of thematic, comparative research reports on issues in constitutional design that have arisen in the Middle East and North Africa. These reports are jointly published by Constitutional Transitions and International IDEA in English and Arabic, and will be used as engagement tools in support of constitution-building activities in the region.

This report, Semi-Presidentialism as Power Sharing: Constitutional reform after the Arab Spring, assesses the contribution that the semi-presidential form of government can make to consolidating democracy and preventing the reemergence of presidential dictatorship in the MENA region. The political history of many of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region over the last 60 years has been one of strong presidents and weak legislatures. The democratic revolutions of the Arab Spring created the opportunity to reconstitute the political system in a way that marks a fundamental break from the dictatorships of the recent past. This report analyzes a range of options for designing a semi-presidential system, considering the extent to which these options can ensure: (1) limited presidential power, (2) an effective legislature capable of exercising oversight of the president and the government, (3) effective and meaningful power sharing between the prime minister and the president, and (4) presidential leadership in times of crisis.

The other reports in the series are:

Read the Report:

Download the full Report (English)(Arabic)

Order a Printed Copy (through International IDEA)

About the Partner Organizations

Constitutional Transitions generates and mobilizes knowledge in support of constitution building. Constitutional Transitions generates knowledge by identifying issues of critical importance to the success of constitutional transitions, where a lack of adequate, up-to-date research impedes the effectiveness of technical assistance for constitution building, and assembles and leads international networks of experts to complete thematic research projects that offer evidence-based policy options to practitioners. Constitutional Transitions mobilizes knowledge through an innovative clinical program that provides “back office” research support to constitutional advisors in the field, and deploys faculty experts and field researchers for support on the ground. We meet existing field missions’ needs for comprehensive research, dramatically enhancing their effectiveness and efficiency in their role as policy advisors and actors.

International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization with 28 member states that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. International IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, and assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics.

International IDEA produces comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise: electoral processes, constitution building, political participation and representation, and democracy and development, as well as on democracy as it relates to gender, diversity, and conflict and security. IDEA’s work is non-prescriptive and IDEA takes an impartial and collaborative approach to democracy cooperation; emphasizing diversity in democracy, equal political participation, representation of women and men in politics and decision making, and helping to enhance the political will required for change. International IDEA is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations.