Collegial versus personal cabinets and governments1

Eyal Ben Shimol, Reuven Y. Hazan, Gideon Rahat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we develop a comprehensive typology, alongside measurements of personalism and collegialism, of cabinets and governments in democracies. The scholarly literature identifies and addresses the personal and collegial elements within governments in democracies, but falls short of proposing a comprehensive typology and compatible measurements. We present what we call the Cabinet-Government Model, which includes two perspectives: a narrow one that focuses on the cabinet and a wider one that also relates to the interaction of the cabinet with other political institutions (parliament, election, bureaucracy, party) and thus refers to the government as a whole. After listing the ideal types of collegial and personal governments, we chart its measurements. We then analyze 28 democratic governments using materials from various databases and constitutional sources. The analysis identifies a high level of variation in personalism between cabinets and governments throughout the democratic world, demonstrates that a focus on the cabinet alone is not sufficient for capturing levels of personalism of governments, and paints a more nuanced picture than the hitherto-simple categorization of parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential governments.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCollegial Democracy versus Personal Democracy
Subtitle of host publication‘We’ the People or ‘I’ the People?
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781040003053
ISBN (Print)9781032396064
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Chen Friedberg and Gideon Rahat; individual chapters, the contributors.


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