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Do minority cabinets govern more flexibly and inclusively?

  • A widespread view in political science is that minority cabinets govern more flexibly and inclusively, more in line with a median-oriented and 'consensual' vision of democracy. Yet there is only little empirical evidence for it. We study legislative coalition-building in the German state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, which was ruled by a minority government between 2010 and 2012. We compare the inclusiveness of legislative coalitions under minority and majority cabinets, based on 1028 laws passed in the 1985–2017 period, and analyze in detail the flexibility of legislative coalition formation under the minority government. Both quantitative analyses are complemented with brief case studies of specific legislation. We find, first, that the minority cabinet did not rule more inclusively. Second, the minority cabinet’s legislative flexibility was fairly limited; to the extent that it existed, it follows a pattern that cannot be explained on the basis of the standard spatial model with policy-seeking parties.

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Author:Steffen GanghofORCiDGND, Sebastian EppnerORCiDGND, Christian SteckerORCiDGND, Katja HeeßGND, Stefan SchukraftORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Postprints der Universität Potsdam Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Reihe
Subtitle (English):evidence from Germany
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Reihe (114)
Document Type:Postprint
Date of first Publication:2019/10/25
Year of Completion:2019
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/10/25
Tag:Australian bicameralism; coalitions; consensus; democracy; majority formation; parties; patterns; pledge fulfillment; policy; veto players
First Page:541
Last Page:561
Source:German Politics 28 (2019) 4, S. 541–561 DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2019.1635120
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
9 Geschichte und Geografie / 94 Geschichte Europas / 940 Geschichte Europas
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Taylor & Francis Open Access Agreement
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerziell, Keine Bearbeitung 4.0 International