Making and Breaking Governments

Cabinets and Legislatures in Parliamentary Democracies

Making and Breaking Governments

Making and Breaking Governments offers a theoretical argument about how parliamentary democracy works. The authors formulate a theoretical model of how parties create new governments and either maintain them in office or, after a resignation or no-confidence vote, replace them. The theory involves strategic interaction, derives consequences, formulates empirical hypotheses on the basis of these, and tests the hypotheses with data drawn from the postwar European experience with parliamentary democracy.


"Laver and Shepsle have produced an expertly executed manuscript that will have a profound effect on the study of government coalitions for years to come....their focus on agenda powers is seminal, provocative, and profound." Kaare Strom, Legislative Studies Quarterly

" once eminently testable and refreshingly simple and elegant." American Political Science Review

"Laver and Shepsle creatively combine the components of political theory with vigorous multivirate statistical analysis, case studies of Germany and Ireland, and simulation experiments to differentiate between cabinet and legislative governing responsibilities." Craig A. Williams, LSS Newsletter

"...clear and persuasive.... ...a well-articulated conception of parliamentary government and one that is likely to stimulate much further research. ...Making and Breaking Governments...will powerfully stimulate and enhance future research on democratic political institutions." Kaare Strom, Legislative Studies Quarterly

"The authors have achieved a brilliant juxtaposition of theoretical rigor with practical application. Theorists, as well as commentators on political elections, can profitably use this book. It is well worth an analyst's time and effort to learn this model for applications to their respective parliaments." Douglas Wills, Public Choice


The Best Book in Political Economy Award of the American Political Science Association's Political Economy Section

No references available.