In times of growing support for populist parties and the continuous rise of the number of parties gaining representation in national legislatures, the study of coalition governments becomes increasingly important. This course examines the key questions of coalition governments in Western and Eastern Europe: Who gets into government? How successful are coalition parties in implementing their policies? And why are some coalitions more stable than others? This seminar is structured along the so-called coalition life cycle: after an introduction of the key concepts of the research on parties and coalitions, we will first discuss theories about the formation of governments, e.g. which parties are more likely to form a coalition, but also which parties are excluded from government positions. In the second part, we will regard the stage of coalition governance and explore how policy-making under coalitions works and if parties in coalitions can realize their policy promises. In the final part, we will look at cabinet stability and discuss different theories about early government termination. The course provides the students with the knowledge of the relevant theories of coalition research and introduces important sources of data and the methodological challenges in the field. The aim of the course is to support the students to develop and answer a research question of their own in the area of coalition governments.
Strøm, Kaare, Müller, Wolfgang C. and Torbjörn Bergman (2008): Cabinets and Coalition Bargaining: The Democratic Life Cycle in Western Europe, Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Müller, Wolfgang C. and Kaare Strøm (2000): Coalition Governments in Western Europe, Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Laver, Michael and Norman Schofield (1990): Multiparty Government. The Politics of Coalition in Europe, Oxford University Press: New York.