Cabinets and Coalition Bargaining: The Democratic Life Cycle in Western Europe

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Kaare Strøm, Wolfgang C. Müller, Torbjö Bergman, Torbjörn Bergman
Oxford University Press, 2008 - Political Science - 443 pages
Cabinets and Coalition Bargaining provides a comprehensive analysis of coalition politics in Western Europe over the post-war period. It champions a dynamic approach in which the various stages in the life of coalitions influence each other. After a review of the literature a theory chapter
addresses the roles of bargaining and transaction costs in coalition governance. Eight comparative chapters address the topics of government formation (government type, formation duration), coalition agreements, portfolio allocation, conflict management, cabinet termination and duration, and the
electoral consequences of coalition government. The book is based on the most comprehensive data set ever employed in coalition studies that includes both coalitional and single-party countries and governments. Each chapter first provides a comparative overview of the phenomenon under study and then
moves on to state-of-the art statistical analysis. Conceptually and in the statistical analysis the study argues for an integrated approach stressing the relevance of countries, time, 'structural attributes', actors' preferences, institutions, the coalition's bargaining environment, and 'critical
events'. Indeed, sufficient explanations of most phenomena under study require independent variables from several of these categories.

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

The Comparative Politics Series is edited by Professor David M. Farrell, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, Kenneth Carty, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia, and Professor Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Institute of Political Science,
Philipps University, Marburg.

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Bargaining Transaction Costs and Coalition Governance
The Empirical Study of Cabinet Governance
Uncertainty and Complexity in Cabinet Formation

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About the author (2008)

Kaare Strøm is a Professor in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Minority Government and Majority Rule; co-editor of Challenges to Political Parties, Policy, Office or Votes?, Coalition Governments in Western Europe (OUP 2000), Delegation and
Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies (OUP 2003), and the textbook Comparative Politics Today: A World View. He has published numerous articles in such scholarly journals as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and the European Journal of Political

Wolfgang C. Müller is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Mannheim and former Director of the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES). His book publications include Policy, Office, or Votes? How Political Parties in Western Europe Make Hard Decisions, Coalition
Governments in Western Europe (OUP 2000), and Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies (OUP 2003).

Torbjörn Bergman is a Professor in Political Science at the University of Umea. His book publications include Delegation and Accountability in European Integration: The Nordic Parliamentary Democracies and the European Union, Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies (OUP 2003), and
Democratic Institutions in Decline?. His articles have appeared in journals such as European Journal of Political Research, Journal of European Public Policy, Government and Opposition, Party Politics, and Scandinavian Political Studies.

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