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Albert Falcó-Gimeno, "The use of control mechanisms in coalition governments: The role of preference tangentiality and repeated interactions," Party Politics, 20 (May 2014), 341-356. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
Coalition governments form between parties that share complementary interests and allocate portfolios accordingly. As long as an absolute complementarity exists, no problematic bargaining between partners should take place once in office. However, this is seldom the case: '[ . . . ] while the parties that make up a coalition may have more or less compatible policy preferences, it is hardly ever the case that all of their policy preferences can be realized simultaneously' (Mu¨ ller and Strøm, 2008: 166).

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Portfolio lattices and preference types (overlapped (left) vs tangential (right)).
Figure 2. Necessity of coalition control mechanisms (diagram).
Figure 3. Necessity of coalition control mechanisms (matrix).
Table 1. Descriptive statistics (main independent variables).
Table 2. Logistic regression estimates (establishment of cross-partisan junior ministers).
Table 3. Linear regression estimates (share of cross-partisan junior ministers).
Table 4. Logistic regression estimates (existence of a comprehensive policy agreement).
Figure 4. Interactive effect on the likelihood of establishing cross-partisan junior ministers.

Last Paragraph:
(first paragraph of conclusion) This article has dealt with the understudied topic of the conditions under which coalition governments devise control mechanisms to ensure a centralized governance instead of a compartmentalized one. It is said that the former allows the adoption of compromise policies that make partners better-off, while the latter tends to produce suboptimal policies that simply reflect a collection of parties' ideal positions in their respective jurisdictions. The problem is that compromise policies are not always easy to obtain given the strong agenda powers that each party has in its portfolios. Control mechanisms, it has been contended, facilitate the achievement of such optimal policies and thus coalitions will in general be interested in working them out.

Last updated April 2014