Department of Economics and Business Economics

Why Do Governments Call a State of Emergency? On the Determinants of Using Emergency Constitutions

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Why Do Governments Call a State of Emergency? On the Determinants of Using Emergency Constitutions. / Bjørnskov, Christian; Voigt, Stefan.

In: European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 54, 2018, p. 110-123.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Bjørnskov, Christian ; Voigt, Stefan. / Why Do Governments Call a State of Emergency? On the Determinants of Using Emergency Constitutions. In: European Journal of Political Economy. 2018 ; Vol. 54. pp. 110-123.

Bibtex

@article{150167f950974c88b22188cbc6576a20,
title = "Why Do Governments Call a State of Emergency? On the Determinants of Using Emergency Constitutions",
abstract = "States of emergency do not only imply a significant change in the balance of powers between the three branches of government, they are also very frequently declared: between 1985 and 2014, at least 137 countries were subject to at least one such event. This contribution is the first to systematically inquire into the factors determining such declarations. We find that constitutions matter and that descriptive statistics indicate that countries without constitutionalized emergency provisions declare states of emergency significantly more often than countries with such provisions. Further analysis shows that it is crucial to distinguish between states of emergency declared as a consequence of a natural disaster from those declared as a consequence of political turmoil. Distinguishing between the costs of declaring an emergency and its benefits, we find that the less costly it is to declare an emergency, the more emergencies will be called on the grounds of natural disasters but not on the grounds of political turmoil. This is, hence, more evidence that constitutions matter. Finally, emergencies based on political turmoil are more likely to be declared if an economic crisis is hitting the country, large natural disasters are more likely to lead to an SOE when more powers are allocated to the legislature, and results suggest that even military coup governments are subject to constitutional constraints.",
keywords = "BALANCES, CHECKS, Emergency constitutions, HUMAN-RIGHTS, Natural disasters, Power-maximizing politicians, State of emergency",
author = "Christian Bj{\o}rnskov and Stefan Voigt",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2018.01.002",
language = "English",
volume = "54",
pages = "110--123",
journal = "European Journal of Political Economy",
issn = "0176-2680",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Why Do Governments Call a State of Emergency? On the Determinants of Using Emergency Constitutions

AU - Bjørnskov, Christian

AU - Voigt, Stefan

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - States of emergency do not only imply a significant change in the balance of powers between the three branches of government, they are also very frequently declared: between 1985 and 2014, at least 137 countries were subject to at least one such event. This contribution is the first to systematically inquire into the factors determining such declarations. We find that constitutions matter and that descriptive statistics indicate that countries without constitutionalized emergency provisions declare states of emergency significantly more often than countries with such provisions. Further analysis shows that it is crucial to distinguish between states of emergency declared as a consequence of a natural disaster from those declared as a consequence of political turmoil. Distinguishing between the costs of declaring an emergency and its benefits, we find that the less costly it is to declare an emergency, the more emergencies will be called on the grounds of natural disasters but not on the grounds of political turmoil. This is, hence, more evidence that constitutions matter. Finally, emergencies based on political turmoil are more likely to be declared if an economic crisis is hitting the country, large natural disasters are more likely to lead to an SOE when more powers are allocated to the legislature, and results suggest that even military coup governments are subject to constitutional constraints.

AB - States of emergency do not only imply a significant change in the balance of powers between the three branches of government, they are also very frequently declared: between 1985 and 2014, at least 137 countries were subject to at least one such event. This contribution is the first to systematically inquire into the factors determining such declarations. We find that constitutions matter and that descriptive statistics indicate that countries without constitutionalized emergency provisions declare states of emergency significantly more often than countries with such provisions. Further analysis shows that it is crucial to distinguish between states of emergency declared as a consequence of a natural disaster from those declared as a consequence of political turmoil. Distinguishing between the costs of declaring an emergency and its benefits, we find that the less costly it is to declare an emergency, the more emergencies will be called on the grounds of natural disasters but not on the grounds of political turmoil. This is, hence, more evidence that constitutions matter. Finally, emergencies based on political turmoil are more likely to be declared if an economic crisis is hitting the country, large natural disasters are more likely to lead to an SOE when more powers are allocated to the legislature, and results suggest that even military coup governments are subject to constitutional constraints.

KW - BALANCES

KW - CHECKS

KW - Emergency constitutions

KW - HUMAN-RIGHTS

KW - Natural disasters

KW - Power-maximizing politicians

KW - State of emergency

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041613182&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2018.01.002

DO - 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2018.01.002

M3 - Journal article

VL - 54

SP - 110

EP - 123

JO - European Journal of Political Economy

JF - European Journal of Political Economy

SN - 0176-2680

ER -