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Paul Chambers, "Factions, Parties and the Durability of Parliaments, Coalitions and Cabinets: The Case of Thailand (1979-2001)," Party Politics, 14 (May, 2008), 299-323.

First paragraph:
Have parties or factions been the more significant unit of analysis in Thai parliamentary politics? Under what conditions might parties or factions play a role in cabinet or coalition durability? This study, through Transaction Costs Analysis, addresses these questions by examining the impact of multiple parties and factions on parliamentary, coalitional and cabinet durability in Thailand from 1979 to 2001.1 It disaggregates the influences of intra-party factions and political parties to gauge their relative importance in influencing parliamentary, coalitional or cabinet longevity. Data2 gathered from field research make it possible to assess these relative effects empirically. The study's findings suggest that factions have a greater effect on parliaments, coalitions and cabinets than do parties in Thailand. While factions tend to shorten parliamentary and cabinet terms, they counter-intuitively have the opposite effect on coalition terms.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Visualization of hypotheses
Figure 2. Visualization of the effective number of parties and factions across parliamentary terms, 1979-2001
Figure 3. Visualization of the effective number of parties and factions across ruling coalitions, 1979-2001
Figure 4. Visualization of the effective number of parties and factions across cabinet reshuffles, 1979-2001
Table 1. Summarized quantitative findings (bivariates)
Table 2. Summarized quantitative findings (multivariates)
Appendix A. Empirical data on parties, factions and cabinets
Appendix B. List of Thai cabinet portfolio positions

First paragraph of conclusion:
These analyses and tests make for some interesting findings. Both parties and factions play a role in cabinet and coalition durability although factions tend to be more significant players than parties. The findings show that both intra-party and inter-party actors have a negative (sometimes positive) impact on cabinet and coalition durability in Thailand. What is interesting is that across Thailand's eight parliamentary terms (1979-2001), the greater number of factions rather than the greater number of parties diminished parliamentary term and coalition duration. Multiple parliamentary factions triggered a clear reduction in parliamentary term longevity. Furthermore, the bivariate and multivariate regression findings for these results are highly robust.

Last updated July 2008