Parties’ foreign policy approach and the outcome of coalition allocation negotiations: the case of Israel

Abstract

Foreign policy research has explored the impacts of different aspects of domestic politics on actors’ international behavior. This work looks in the other direction, examining how political parties’ foreign policy approach affects the share of payoffs they successfully negotiate in parliamentary government coalitions. This study integrates political psychology research, correlating IR paradigms and negotiating behavior, with studies of coalition formation. The article also expands on previous coalition allocation research through analysis of ministers, deputy ministers, and committee chairs in eight coalition governments in Israel from 1992 to 2015. The results indicate that political parties characterized by a realist approach obtain a higher share of coalition payoffs, quantitative and qualitative, than parties with a constructivist or liberal approach. Realists’ advantage is revealed to be significantly greater among non-formateur parties. This work contributes to research on coalition allocation, political behavior, political parties, and foreign policy analysis.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    Often referred to as Junior Ministers. This work favors the term Deputy Minister.

  2. 2.

    While laws have been passed (and later repealed) to limit the number of ministers, the number of ministries (and their names) is not constant. Consequently, ministries are often added, divided, or changed.

  3. 3.

    Opposition parties controlled about one-third of the 12 permanent committee chairs during the study period.

  4. 4.

    In some cases, a PM has held portfolios to distribute later to prospective additional coalition members.

  5. 5.

    This is also consistent with previous analyses.

  6. 6.

    Parties and MPs are recounted each time they enter a new coalition.

  7. 7.

    Eleven professors from Israel’s five leading universities (and one college) who have published scores of peer reviewed articles, books, and chapters on political parties and legislative politics.

  8. 8.

    Some parties are more willing than others in grudgingly allowing for territorial concessions in a peace accord.

  9. 9.

    This group comprises parties with a more liberal approach, emphasizing security benefits of a peace treaty, and parties that are more constructivist, who advocate measures to build trust with the Palestinians.

    A variety of parties, with liberals emphasizing the security benefits of a peace treaty and constructivists advocating confidence-building measures to build trust with the Palestinians.

  10. 10.

    Similar to research groupings of political parties according to families (Bäck et al. 2011; Browne and Feste 1975; Pedahzur and Perliger 2004).

  11. 11.

    Four being the median number of ministers held by coalition parties during this period.

  12. 12.

    The smaller number of committee chairs did not enable differentiation between primary and secondary priorities.

  13. 13.

    Thus, parties were not penalized for obtaining extra payoffs.

  14. 14.

    Previous research has assigned PMs different values. Warwick and Druckman, for example, weigh the PM as 2.23 times the average minister, while citing other research that has given this position other weight (2006, 649).

  15. 15.

    As with other ministers, relevance of multiple additional portfolios to PM is only assessed once.

  16. 16.

    From 181 to 188.

  17. 17.

    There were no formateurs from the control group.

  18. 18.

    Figure based on Warwick and Druckman’s scatter graph illustrating formateurs and non-formateur proportional allocation (2006, 651).

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to express his gratitude to Professor Reuven Hazan, Professor Orit Kedar, and Dr. Matan Sharkansky of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for their valuable suggestions.

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Evans, M. Parties’ foreign policy approach and the outcome of coalition allocation negotiations: the case of Israel. Int Polit 55, 655–677 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0102-4

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Keywords

  • Realism
  • Liberalism
  • Constructivism
  • IR theory
  • Political psychology
  • Coalition allocation
  • Israel