9780199674787

Parliaments and Coalitions The Role of Legislative Institutions in Multiparty Governance

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780199674787

  • ISBN10:

    0199674787

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/12/2013
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Summary

Coalition governments are the norm in most of the world's parliamentary democracies. Because these governments are comprised of multiple political parties, they are subject to tensions that are largely absent under single-party government. The pressures of electoral competition and the necessity of delegating substantial authority to ministers affiliated with specific parties threaten the compromise agreements that are at the heart of coalition governance. The central argument of this book is that strong legislative institutions play a critical role in allowing parties to deal with these tensions and to enforce coalition bargains. Based on an analysis of roughly 1,300 government bills across five democracies (Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands), the book paints a detailed picture of the treatment of government legislation in contemporary parliaments. Two central contributions emerge. First, the book forces a reconsideration of the common perception that legislatures are largely irrelevant institutions in European democracies. The data presented here make a compelling case that parliaments that feature strong committee systems play an influential role in shaping policy. Second, the book contributes to the field of coalition governance. While scholars have developed detailed accounts of the birth and death of coalitions, much less is known about the manner in which coalitions govern between these bookend events. Parliaments and Coalitions contributes to a richer understanding of how multiparty governments make policy.

Comparative Politics is a series for students, teachers, and researchers of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. Global in scope, books in the series are characterised by a stress on comparative analysis and strong methodological rigour. The series is published in association with the European Consortium for Political Research. For more information visit: www.ecprnet.eu.

Author Biography


Lanny W. Martin received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. His work has appeared in such journals as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and the British Journal of Political Science. He is Associate Professor of Political Science at Rice University.

Georg Vanberg was educated at the College of William and Mary and the University of Rochester. His work has appeared in such journals as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and the British Journal of Political Science. He is the author of The Politics of Constitutional Review in Germany, published by Cambridge University Press. He is associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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