Coalition policymaking and legislative review


Journal Article

Political scientists know remarkably little about the extent to which legislatures are able to influence policymaking in parliamentary democracies. In this article, we focus on the influence of legislative institutions in periods of coalition government. We show that multiparty governments are plagued by "agency" problems created by delegation to cabinet ministers that increase in severity on issues that divide the coalition. We also argue that the process of legislative review presents an important-but understudied- institutional opportunity for coalition partners to overcome these tensions. We evaluate our argument using original legislative data on over 300 government bills collected from two parliamentary democracies. The central implication of our findings is that legislatures play a more important role in parliamentary democracies than is usually appreciated by providing a key institutional mechanism that allows coalition partners with divergent preferences to govern successfully.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Martin, LW; Vanberg, G

Published Date

  • February 1, 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 99 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 93 - 106

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5943

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0554

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S0003055405051518

Citation Source

  • Scopus