A division of powers between different branches of government is an essential prerequisite for having an effective system of checks and balances, and is needed to reduce the dangers associated with unchecked monopoly power in government. Our conference aims at discussing papers that shed some new light on the political economy of the separation of powers. This concerns not only the classical model of horizontal separation of powers into three branches of government, but also vertical separation of powers in federal systems, and the evolving practice of separating powers in supranational entities such as the European Union.
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