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Do Voters’ Coalition Preferences Affect Government Formation?

Debus, Marc and Müller, Jochen (2013) 'Do Voters’ Coalition Preferences Affect Government Formation?' West European Politics, 36 (5). pp. 1007-1028. ISSN 0140-2382

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Studies on coalition formation assume that political parties have two major goals: they aim to maximise office and policy payoffs. This paper shows that decision-making in the government formation game is also determined by the voters’ coalition preferences. Since the coalition formation process is not a one-shot game, parties have to take the coalition preferences of the electorate into account when they evaluate the utility of potential coalitions. If parties fail to comply with the coalition preferences of voters, they are likely to be penalised in future elections. The argument is tested by an analysis of government formation in the 16 German states between 1990 and 2009. The results support the argument: the formation of coalitions – at least in the German states – is not only determined by office- and policy-seeking behaviour of political parties, but also by the preferences of voters regarding their preferred outcome of the coalition game.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2013 11:55
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 11:14

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