Chapter

The Theory of Political Coalitions

New Haven
Publisher: Yale University Press
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    ABSTRACT: States confer status on groups and individuals in many different ways. Theoretical work on consociationalism, corporatism, and ethnic group politics all use status as a variable. This article applies a simple rational choice modeling technique, Schelling curves, to Canada to elaborate a general theory of status-seeking behavior. In Canada, groups fight high profile and sophisticated battles over their relative status under the constitution. The model predicts that status-seeking behavior usually has inherent limits but may be unbounded in certain situations. A test against Ontario's human legislation confirms the prediction.
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    ABSTRACT: Coalition theories have produced arguments about the importance of party positions for participation in government coalitions, but have not connected the existing government institutions (in particular agenda setting) with the coalition government that will be formed. This article presents a veto players’ approach to coalition formation, which pushes the logic of non-cooperative game-theoretic models one step further: we argue that policy positions play a significant role in coalition formation because governments in parliamentary systems control the agenda of the policymaking process. As a result, the institutions that regulate this policymaking process affect coalition formation. In particular, positional advantages that a government may have (central policy position of formateur, fewer parties, and small policy distances among coalition partners) will become more necessary as a government has fewer institutional agenda setting advantages at its disposal. The empirical tests presented in this paper corroborate these expectations by explicitly accounting for the conditional effects of policy positions and institutional agenda setting rules on one another in a set of multilevel logit models.
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    ABSTRACT: This dissertation is mainly concerned with political parties that usually cluster inside the area of right-wing radicalism. Major changes concerning Western European party systems represent the background of analysis. The study is underpinned on the recognition that, after the emergence of ecology and leftlibertarian parties, the rise of right-wing parties is the most relevant and debated transformation in the configuration of party systems. Fourteen EU-member states are included in the set of inquiry and life-span analysis ranges from1990 to 2009. Firstly, the examination focuses on the identification of parties at stakes with the purpose of elaborating a suitable label. By exploring the right deviancy on value and cultural topics through expert survey datasets, the final label for those actors is Exclusionist Right Parties (ERPs). Secondly, the research takes into account factors that potentially affected the electoral performances of ERPs. The related framework is two-fold, composed of demand and supply sides. On the one hand, for the demand side, individual-level data are inspected; on the other hand, for the supply side, expert judgments have been employed to plot party positions along a couple of domains, i.e. economy and immigration. In conclusion, the aim of the final chapter is to shed light on the different ERPs’ electoral fortunes by pinpointing patterns of multiple combinations of conditions and constructing a weighted additive index.
    07/2011, Degree: CORSO DI DOTTORATO DI RICERCA IN STUDI POLITICI, Supervisor: Marco Giuliani