| SPF Religion. Gesellschaft. Weltbeziehung., Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, Forschung

Jewell-Loewenberg Prize for Professor Mariana Llanos

For their contribution "Oversight or Representation? Public Opinion and Impeachment Resolutions in Argentina and Brazil," Mariana Llanos, Professor of Democratic Institutions in the Global South at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt, and Aníbal Pérez Liñán of the University of Notre Dame (USA) will be awarded the 2022 Jewell-Loewenberg Prize in the section Legislative Studies/Comparative Politics. The prize is awarded by the American Political Science Association (APSA) and officially presented at the APSA conference, which will be held in Canada from September 15 to 18.

The awarded article enquires on why legislators introduce impeachment resolutions against the president, even though impeachments are very difficult processes, and thus most of these resolutions are doomed to die in Congress without being considered. The article (was inspired by) and analyses the cases of Argentina and Brazil, where legislators and / or citizens introduced 274 impeachment resolutions against the presidents that ruled since the transitions to democracy in the 1980s until 2019. The authors explore two possible answers to this puzzle, which are linked to the legislative functions of oversight and representation. First, legislators want to initiate impeachment procedures to expose (real or alleged) presidential misdeeds, an action that may weaken the president’s approval rates, even if an impeachment process remains unlikely. Second, legislators introduce impeachment resolutions to express their constituents’ outrage in the context of corruption scandals or poor economic performance—that is, in response to an exogenous decline in presidential approval. To test these hypotheses, they estimate models predicting presidential approval and impeachment resolutions using time-series and simultaneous equations estimators. The results strongly support the representation hypothesis.

The article "Oversight or Representation? Public Opinion and Impeachment Resolutions in Argentina and Brazil" was published in the journal Legislative Studies Quarterly in May 2021 and is freely available (open access) in the Wiley Online Library: