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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the role of political parties in the government formation process. Swedish governments have had a clear-cut bloc political character, with the “socialist” parties in one camp and the “nonsocialist” parties in the other. Other features of the historical record also stand out. One example is that many postwar governments have been minority cabinets, often single-party governments. These have often been Social Democratic. The Social Democrats have ruled with the support of the Left Party and, more recently, the Greens. In the period 1998–2006, there were even written policy agreements (contracts) between the governing Social Democrats and the two “support” parties. When coalitions form, the parties divide the ministerial portfolios in a way that is proportional to the size of each party, and during the last decades a gender balance in the cabinet has become an explicit ambition.

Keywords: government formation, political parties, minority governments, support parties, ministerial portfolios, prime ministers

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