Contemporary Political Systems
Contemporary Political Systems
Study: Civil Law - 9. semester
Commercial Law - 9. semester
Constitutional-Administrative - 9. semester
Criminal Law - 9. semester
International Law - 9. semester
The European Union Law - 9. semester
Code: 79158
ECTS: 4.0
Course coordinators:
Exam dates:
  • 29. 08. 2022.
  • 12. 09. 2022.
Exam registration: Studomat
Basic data
Contemporary Political Systems Civil Law - 9. semester
Commercial Law - 9. semester
Constitutional-Administrative - 9. semester
Criminal Law - 9. semester
International Law - 9. semester
The European Union Law - 9. semester
4.0 79158
Thomas Fleiner, Lidija Basta Fleiner; Constitutional Democracy in a Multicultural and Globalised World; Springer Science Business Media (2009), str. 1-29; 130-265; 511-650
Branko Smerdel; Central European Democratic Transition: the Paradigm of a Constitutional Revolution, in:Key Developments in Constitutionalism and Constitutional Law, Lidija R. Basta Fleiner and Tanasije Marinković (eds.); Eleven International Publishing, The Hague (2014), str. 51-62
Branko Smerdel; ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT - Conflict of Interest and the Constitution, in: Zbornik Pravnog fakulteta u Zagrebu (Collected papers of the Zagreb Faculty of Law) (2000) 5; Pravni fakultet u Zagrebu (2000), str. 769-794
Branko Smerdel; Convention on the Future of Europe and the Process of Constitutional Choice, in: Revus - journal for constitutional theory and philosophy of law 1 (2003); GV Revije, Ljubljana (2003), str. 4-16
Branko Smerdel; The Croatian Parliament in a Comparative Perspective, in: Croatian critical law review, 1 (1996) 1-2; Croatian Law Centre (1996), str. 137-154
Branko Smerdel; Relevance of the Theory of a Compound Republic for the European Process of Constitutional Choice, paper presented at the international conference "Vincent Ostrom: The Quest to Understand Human Affairs", Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University Bloomington, June 2006; (2006)
Branko Smerdel; Constitutional Identity: Beyond the view from the Courts, paper presented at the Jean Monnet Conference on National and Constitutional Identity in EU Law (Regensburg, Germany), March 2012; (2012)
Branko Smerdel; Platypus Reconsidered: How to Integrate Independent Regulators Into The Croatian Constitutional Order, in: Bodiroga Vukobrat, N., Sander, G.G., Barić, S. (eds.), Regulierungsagenturen im Spannungsfeld von Recht und Okonomie (Regulatory Agencies in the tension Between Law and Economics), Verlag Dr. Kovač GmbH, Hamburg; Verlag Dr. Kovač GmbH (2012), str. 11-24
Branko Smerdel; Republic of Croatia, in: Constitutional Law of the EU Member States (Besselink, L.; Bovend Eert, P.; Broeksteeg, H.; De Lange, R.; Voermans, W. (eds.)); Deventer: Kluwer (2014), str. 191-1763
Branko Smerdel; Design and operation of the "hybrid" presidency - evaluation of the power sharing in the Croatian top executive, in: Zbornik Pravnog fakulteta u Zagrebu (Collected papers of Zagreb Law School), 65 (2015) 2; Pravni fakultet u Zagrebu (2015), str. 181-211
Branko Smerdel; In quest of a doctrine: Croatian constitutional identity in the European Union, in: Zbornik Pravnog fakulteta u Zagrebu (Collected papers of Zagreb Law School), 64 (2014) 4; Pravni fakultet u Zagrebu (2014), str. 513-534
The course offers an in-depth analysis of contemporary political systems, focusing on their institutions and functioning, particularly with regard to a comparison of the old democracies and former communist/socialist countries undergoing democratic transformations, as well as the European Union. It further studies and defines the position of the Republic of Croatia in these processes, and assesses the development of her democratic political institutions. The students will be familiarized with concepts of constitutional engineering and constitutional choice, and study particular issues of designing and realizing democratic and functioning political institutions. To this end, the course will particularly focus on the theory of division of power - in its "horziontal" application (contemporary parliamentarism in comparative law), as well as in "vertical" arrangements (compound states and communities of states - from American theories of federalism, through the fall of communist federations, to new, sui generis associations of states such as the EU).

Main topics:

1.The subject and contents of the comparative study of contemporary political systems. The modern science of comparative political systems.

2.Classification of political systems: democratic and autocratic regimes. Modern democracies, Europe and North America. New democracies in Central and East Europe. Problems of democratic transformation in the former communist countries. The position and perspectives of the Republic of Croatia in this process of transformation. Problems of development of political institutions. New institutional analysis. The theory of constitutional choice. The pluralist model of political systems.

3.The theory of the division of power and its application in contemporary developed democracies: Great Britain, the United States of America, Germany, France. Contemporary parliamentarism. Problems of application in the political system of the Republic of Croatia.

4. Compound states and communities of states: American theories of federalism. The comparative approach in the study of compound states and communities of states. The fall of communist federations and the emergence of new and independent states. Emergence of the independent and sovereign Republic of Croatia. The realisation of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia.
Exam dates
29. 08. 2022.
12. 09. 2022.