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Coalition Politics

Norman Schofield ()

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1995, vol. 7, issue 3, 245-281

Abstract: Although there are well-developed theories of two-party competition in a one-dimensional policy space, it has proven extremely difficult to construct a model of multi-party competition (with three or more parties) in two or more dimensions. One difficulty with developing such a model is due to the phenomenon of political uncertainty over the expected nature of the governing coalition. A cooperative equilibrium notion, the `political heart', is used here to characterise post-election coalition formation. Empirical evidence from 12 European political systems in the post-war period is presented, to corroborate this equilibrium concept. Using this notion, a typology based on fragmentation and centrality is proposed. A model of multi-party competition over pre-election policy proposals is described. It is argued that this model is compatible with the predictions of the political heart concerning coalition formation.

Keywords: party competition; coalition politics; the core; the political heart (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:7:y:1995:i:3:p:245-281