"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 http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue3/
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,
- Figures and
- Figure 1. Portfolio lattices and preference types
(overlapped (left) vs tangential (right)).
- Figure 2. Necessity of coalition control mechanisms
- Figure 3. Necessity of coalition control mechanisms
- Table 1. Descriptive statistics (main independent
- 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.
(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.