Through examination of parliamentary governments in twelve countries, this book demonstrates the ways in which study of the parties in governing coalitions, and their parliamentary opposition, provides insight into numerous aspects of countries’ cultural values, societal schisms, and the issues of greatest contention among their people.
Each chapter analyses the political parties in a different country’s parliament and illustrates how they represent the country’s competing interests, social divisions, and public policy debates. Coalition and opposition parties are also shown to reflect each country’s: political institutions; political actors; political culture; and societal, geographic, and ideological rifts. In many of the countries, changes in the constellation of parties in government are emblematic of important political, social, and economic changes.
This book will be essential reading for students of parliamentary government, political parties, electoral politics, and, more broadly, comparative politics.
Table of Contents
1. Coalitions Through A Comparative Politics Lens: Parties and Political Culture
Part I: Typical Coalition Governments, With Weakening Pillar Parties
2. Germany: Between Bloc Competition and Grand Coalitions
3. Netherlands The Dynamics of Coalition Governments in the Netherlands
Arco Timmermans and Gerard Breeman
4. Belgium Government Coalitions as a Reflection of National Politics: The Complex Case of Belgium
Part II: Coalition Governments with Uncoalitionable Minorities’ Parties
5. Israel’s Coalition Government: Secular Liberals, Religious Nationalists and Ultra-Orthodox Parties
6. Short-Lived Coalitions in Latvia: Ethnic Tension, Political Fragmentation and Office-Seeking
Part III: Minority Governments and Negative Parliamentarism
7. Sweden: Minority Government as the Norm
Jonas Lindahl, Johan Hellström and Hanna Bäck
8. Denmark: The Politics of Compromise and Minority Government Governance
Christoffer Florczak and Robert Klemmensen
9. Norway: Towards a More Inclusive Parliamentary Regime
Kaare W. Strøm
Part IV: Third Wave Countries, Economic Crisis and Political Changes
10. Portugal: The Prevalence of Right-Wing Coalitions
B Jorge M. Fernandes
11. Spain's Coalitional Dynamics: The Relevance of Multilevel Politics.
Josep Mª Reniu
12. Greece Greece’s Coalition Governments: Power Sharing in a Majoritarian Democracy
Emmanouil Tsatsanis and Eftichia Teperoglou
Part V: Anti-Establishment Party Leads Government
13. Party System and Coalition Governments in post-WWII Italy
14. Coalitions and Political Parties as a Reflection of Societal Changes and Cultural Rifts in 12 Parliamentary Democracies
Matt Evans is Associate Professor of political science at Pennsylvania State University in Altoona, USA.