Parliamentary and presidential government, exemplified by the United Kingdom and most continental European countries on the one hand and the United States and Latin America on the other, are the two principal forms of democracy in the modern world. Their respective advantages and disadvantages have long been debated, at first mainly by British and American political observers, but with increasing frequency in other parts of the world too, especially in Latin America and Asia. The recent world-wide wave of democratization has intensified both the debate and its significance. This volume brings together the most important statements on the subject, by advocates and analysts from Montesquieu and Madison to Lipset and Linz. It also treats the merits of less frequently used democratic types, such as French-style semi-presidentialism, that may be regarded as intermediate forms between parliamentarism and presidentialism.