Coalition government and political communication


Journal Article (Review)

One of the central challenges facing multiparty governments in parliamentary democracies is the need for coalition parties to communicate to their constituents that they have not strayed significantly from their electoral commitments when agreeing to policy compromises. We argue that one of the main ways parties attempt to make their case to constituents is through their behavior in legislative debate. Debate provides a unique opportunity-tied directly to the policy the government is implementing-to declare party positions on the coalition compromise. In an analysis of several hundred legislative speeches in two parliamentary democracies, we show that coalition parties communicate with constituents much more extensively on internally divisive issues, especially as the next parliamentary elections draw near. We also demonstrate contextual and institutional effects (including the impact of junior ministers) that complement emerging findings in the literature on coalition governance. © 2008 University of Utah.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Martin, LW; Vanberg, G

Published Date

  • September 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 502 - 516

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1065-9129

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1065912907308348

Citation Source

  • Scopus