Understanding the formation of governments has always been central to political science. Traditionally this topic has been considered from a rational choice theory perspective and the empirical testing of these theories; however neither approach alone is able to explain a large proportion of actual coalition formations.
This comparative volume brings together a rational choice theory perspective and the empirical testing of these theories to study government formation. It provides in-depth studies of government formations in Europe that cannot be accounted for by existing coalition theory in order to identify potential explanatory factors that have been neglected so far. These ‘coalition puzzles’ are reconstructed by country experts based on secondary sources, newspaper accounts, internal party documents, and interviews in an effort to understand why particular governments were formed. In conclusion, this book assesses whether new factors can be integrated into rational choice theories or whether these analyses point to the need for a different paradigm.
This important volume will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, European politics and comparative politics.
Table of Contents
1. From Coalition Theory to Coalition Puzzles Patrick Dumont, Lieven De Winter and Rudy Andeweg 2. A Neglected Alternative? Psychological Approaches to Coalition Formation Ilja Van Beest 3. When Median-Legislator Theory Fails: The Swedish Greens in 1998 and 2002 Nicholas Aylott and Torbj¢rn Bergman 4. Coalition Bargaining in an Unforgiving Environment: The Case of Bondevik II in Norway Hanne Marthe Narud and Kaare Str¢m 5. Successful Failure: Ill-Conceived Pre-Commitments and Welcome Bargaining Failure Paving the Way to Minority Government in Austria Wolfgang Müller 6. ‘Spain is Different’: Explaining Minority Governments by Diverging Party Goals Josep M. Reniu I Vilamela 7. The Rainbow Coalition: A Surplus Majority Coalition in Finland Ann-Cathrin Jungar 8. Purple Puzzles: The 1994 and 1998 Government Formations in the Netherlands and Coalition Theory Rudy B. Andeweg 9. The Belgian Rainbow Coalition: Optical Illusion or Mechanical Phenomenon? Patrick Dumont 10. From Puzzles to Prospects for Coalition Theory Rudy B. Andeweg
'[This book] indicates important elemnts that have been missing in models, but also what remain beyond the reach of general models of coalition formation. It is thus essential reading for anybody interested in coalition research and some of the more recent developments therein.' - Martin Molder, Central European University