Comparative European Politics

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 345–375

Government formation and breakdown in Western and Central Eastern Europe

  • Torbjörn Bergman
  • Svante Ersson
  • Johan Hellström
Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/cep.2013.27

Cite this article as:
Bergman, T., Ersson, S. & Hellström, J. Comp Eur Polit (2015) 13: 345. doi:10.1057/cep.2013.27

Abstract

In this article, we use a new data set describing governments, political parties and institutions to make an explicit comparison between Western Europe (WE) and Central Eastern Europe (CEE) in the investigation of three different topical issues found in the coalition literature, namely, coalition formation (that is, which factors affect who forms the winning coalitions), the number of cabinet members (that is, what affects the number of ministers in a cabinet) and cabinet duration (that is, which factors affect how long a new government lasts). Our findings indicate that, regardless of all the discussions about how CEE is different from WE because of the post-communist heritage or the volatility of voters in the CEE region, structural attributes such as the size and number of political parties are important determinants of coalition formation and cabinet duration patterns in both the West and the East. In fact, precisely because of the unsettled nature of CEE party politics, structural attributes tend to matter even more in the East.

Keywords

cabinet durationCentral and Eastern Europecoalitionsgovernment formationWestern Europe

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torbjörn Bergman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Svante Ersson
    • 2
  • Johan Hellström
    • 2
  1. 1.Södertörn UniversityHuddingeSweden
  2. 2.Department of Political Science, Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden