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Sven-Oliver Proksch, “Minority Governments and Legislative Debate”
March 14, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Minority governments are a common feature in parliamentary democracy. While there is considerable evidence for their relative stability (in terms of duration and turnover) and efficiency, minority government might also be normatively desirable from a deliberation and quality of democracy standpoint: As governments need to actively seek approval of their proposals in parliament, opposition parties have the opportunity to shape policy outcomes through the parliamentary process. This could lead to more interaction between parties and bargaining in parliament as parties have to debate in a constructive way to reach a compromise. We compare legislative speeches of minority and majority governments to investigate the conditions under which patterns of legislators’ involvement and debate style change under either form of government. We analyse full transcripts of speeches in several parliamentary democracies, covering several decades and different types of cabinets. Answering how legislative debates unfold under minority and majority government has important implications for the quality of democracy and the analysis of parliamentary politics.
Sven-Oliver Proksch is Professor of Political Science and Chair for European and Multilevel Politics at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics at the University of Cologne. His research interests include political representation, democratic political institutions, party politics, parliamentary debates, political text analysis, and European politics.
Co-sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies, Jean Monnet Projects, and the Department of Political Science