Institutional Design and Party Government in Post-Communist Europe

Hardcover | October 31, 2014

byCsaba Nikolenyi

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This books examines the institutional foundations of coalition government in the ten post-communist democracies of Eastern and Central Europe for the 1990-2010 period: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Its centralargument is that differences in the arrangement of political institutions systematically explain variations in patterns of multi-party government across these states. The book starts with the premise that electoral systems and constitutional provisions about the powers, the structure, and therelationship between parliament and the presidency determine the degree to which political power is dispersed or concentrated in the political system. On the basis of these institutional features, three groups of states are distinguished with regard to their degree of power concentration; thesubstantive chapters of the book demonstrate how these institutional combinations and differences shape three specific facets of party government which capture the main stages of the lifecycle of coalitions governments: the formation of electoral coalitions, government formation and governmentduration. Specifically, three comparative chapters assess the impact of institutional power concentration on the size of electoral coalitions; the likelihood that political parties form a minority government; and the number of days that a government lasts in office. The main finding of the book isthat power concentration matters: political parties in those democracies where institutions are designed to concentrate political power tend to form large electoral coalitions, they tend to form majority rather than undersized governments, and they build more durable cabinets. In addition, the bookcontains a detailed case study of government formation in Hungary and a previously unstudied comparison of indirect presidential elections in four states: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Latvia. Comparative Politics is a series for students, teachers, and researchers of political science that deals with contemporary government and politics. Global in scope, books in the series are characterised by a stress on comparative analysis and strong methodological rigour. The series is published inassociation with the European Consortium for Political Research. For more information visit: www.ecprnet.eu.

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This books examines the institutional foundations of coalition government in the ten post-communist democracies of Eastern and Central Europe for the 1990-2010 period: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Its centralargument is that differences in the arrangement of...

Csaba Nikolenyi received his PhD from The University of British Columbia in 2000 and joined the Department of Political Science at Concordia University the same year. His research focuses on comparative electoral and party politics. In 2010, he published a singe-authored book on Minority Governments in India; he has also published ext...

other books by Csaba Nikolenyi

Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:October 31, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199675309

ISBN - 13:9780199675302

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Post-Communist Institutional Design: Electoral Systems, Parliaments and Presidents3. Political Institutions and Electoral Coalitions4. The Electoral Origins of Hungarian Governments, 1990-20025. The Institutional Sources of Minority Governments6. The Institutional Sources of Cabinet Duration7. Dividing the Executive? Party Coalitions and Indirect Presidential Elections8. ConclusionAppendix A: The Development of Post-Communist Electoral SystemsAppendix B: Government Formation Rules in Post-Communist DemocraciesAppendix C: Electoral Coalitions in Post-Communist DemocraciesAppendix D: Government Coalitions in Post-Communist DemocraciesBibliography