Governments in Europe

Coalition Governance in Central Eastern Europe, Edited by Torbjörn Bergman, Gabriella Ilonszki and Wolfgang C. Müller.

Key words: Central Eastern Europe, coalition governance, coalition life-cycle, government formation, government termination

Coalitions among political parties govern most of Europe’s parliamentary democracies.  Traditionally, the study of coalition politics has been focused on Western Europe. Coalition governance in Central Eastern Europe brings the study of the full coalition life-cycle to a region that has undergone tremendous political transformation, but which has not been studied from this perspective. The volume covers Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. It provides information and analyses of the cycle, from pre-electoral alliances to coalition formation and portfolio distribution, governing in coalitions, the stages that eventually lead to a government termination, and the electoral performance of coalition parties. In Central Eastern Europe, few single-party cabinets form and there have been only a few early elections. The evidence provided shows that coalition partners in the region write formal agreements (coalition agreements) to an extent that is similar to the patterns that we find in Western Europe, but also that they adhere less closely to these contracts. While the research on Western Europe tends to stress that coalition partners emphasize coalition compromise and mutual supervision, there is more evidence of ‘ministerial government’ by individual ministers and ministries. There are also a few coalition governance systems that are heavily dominated by the prime minister.  No previous study has covered the full coalition life-cycle in all of the ten countries with as much detail. Systematic information is presented in 10 figures and in more than one hundred tables.

The data will be released open access as soon as the book is published.