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The dynamics of minority rule: Intra-party politics and minority governments in Western Europe.

Maor, Moshe (1992) The dynamics of minority rule: Intra-party politics and minority governments in Western Europe. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The aim of this study is to provide a theoretical and empirical explanation of the question: How do conflicts within a party affect its coalitional behaviour insofar as such conflicts may influence the bargaining power of party elites in the parliamentary arena. There are three major themes around which the theoretical explanation is organized. The first theme is that 'party institutionalization' and the nature of intra-party conflicts are important factors in shaping the ability of the party elites to neutralize internal conflicts. The second theme - a particular application of the first - is that the strength of a party in the parliamentary bargaining plane (i.e. its relative bargaining power) lies in its organization weakness. The third theme reveals that political parties, which are characterized by the existence of heterogeneous and diffused mechanisms for internal dissent, can handle internal conflicts in a variety of ways without forcing members to leave the party. Based upon a comparative analysis of intra-party conflicts and minority governments in Denmark, Norway, France, Italy and the U.K., the study suggests that weakly institutionalized parties can enter into conflict inducing coalition negotiations without risking their hold on their membership, whereas inter-party negotiations can lead to disintegration of highly institutionalized parties as members may be forced to leave the party as their primary mechanism for expression of discontent. A major implication of this study is that in multi-party systems in which minority situations occur, the most attractive strategy (i.e. in terms of bargaining power) for highly institutionalized parties occupying a governmental position is the formation of informal minority governments, whereas the most attractive strategy for weakly institutionalized parties is the formation of formal minority governments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, European Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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