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The Development of the Executive Power in Balkan Constitutionalism

The Development of the Executive Power in Balkan Constitutionalism

The idea of the project is to comparatively analyze the historical development of the executive power in the states allocated in the South-East corner of the European continent. I will explore the constitutional development of the executive of the Balkan states from the start of their constitutional statehood till the present moment. The idea is to grasp the process of formation of the national executive institutions and the main trends of their development.
The substantial scope of the research will be concentrated on the central institutions of the executive power - the head of state, the government, the ministers and possibly some other state organs belonging to the national executive. The executive power institutions will be examined not only as isolated phenomena. The typical institutional interactions permitted by the constitutions, that is to say the constitutional dynamics will also be explored.
There are four main initial hypotheses on which the project is based. First, the constitutional design of the executive power of the Balkan states is shaped predominantly by the reception of foreign prototypes as well as by their functional adaptation by the ruling local elites. Second, the separation of powers is imbalanced in favour of the head of the executive power in the political practice. Third, the establishment of strong and even autocratic executive is perceived as strengthening of the state authority. Fourth, the modernization of the Balkan societies is imposed from above by the ruling elites with the key role played by the executive power institutions.
The general purpose of the proposed project is to create a comprehensive and scientifically verified picture of the institutional design and the political performance of the executive power of the Balkan states. The need to explore exactly the executive power is predetermined by the fact that the head of state and the government are the driving forces behind the modernization and authority building of the Balkan states after the emergence of their national statehood. The study will contribute to the development of a better understanding of the process of western prototypes' reception in peripheral European jurisdictions. It must also be stressed that the better understanding of the evolution and the current status of the national executive power institutions has also European dimension for the reason that the national prime ministers, ministers and in some cases also the heads of state are key veto players in the executive multilevel constitutionalism of the EU. Hence the institutional design and the political attitudes of the national executives of the Balkan EU member states (Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and in the near future Croatia) that have been moulded in the national history have impact on the policy making in the European Union.

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