The Anomaly of the Weimar Republic’s Semi-Presidential Constitution

Yu-chung Shen


In the research about semi-presidentialism, the Weimar Republic’s constitution always has been thought to be an important historical case. However, when we compare its constitutional substance more narrowly, we can find a basic difference between the Weimar Constitution and most other semi-presidential constitutions, including that of the French Fifth Republic as well as of those of Eastern and Central European countries. This paper will compare the different types of these constitutions, especially with regard to the role of the president and its most notable institutional characteristic, their dual executive. The authors are going to distinguish between two types of semi-presidentialism and are demonstrating the reasons for it. Their basic question runs: What marks the constitutional difference between Weimar’s semi-presidentialism and that of other countries the world around?

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Journal of Politics and Law ISSN 1913-9047 (Print) ISSN 1913-9055 (Online)  Email:

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