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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Coalition governance requires multiple parties with conflicting policy goals to govern jointly. The need to compromise, coupled with separate electoral accountability, introduces tensions into multiparty cabinets that are muted in single-party governments. In this chapter, we review recent scholarship that explores how parties that participate in coalition make use of parliamentary institutions to confront these challenges. In particular, the legislative process can allow parties to engage in position-taking to distinguish themselves from their coalition partners, and to scrutinize and amend legislation introduced by ministers associated with other parties. The precise nature of legislative institutions, most importantly, the strength of the committee system, is crucial in doing so. We provide cross-national data on the strength of legislative institutions and discuss the broader implications for the importance of legislatures in parliamentary systems.

Keywords: coalition government, legislatures, committee systems, policy-making, delegation, cabinet ministers

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