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43 Comp. Pol. Stud. 3 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/compls43 and id is 1 raw text is: 







                                                    Comparative Political Studies
                                                                43(l) 3-32
                                                      @ 20 10 SAGE Publications
                                                 DOI: 10.1177/0010414009341714
in   the     Governm            ent                     http://cps.sagepub.corn
                                                              $SAGE
Formation Process




Sona N. Golder'



Abstract
In parliamentary democracies,the transfer of power from one government
to the next is sometimes characterized by long periods of negotiations in
which  party leaders bargain over the composition  and policy objectives
of a  new  cabinet. Although these  delays can have  substantial political
and  economic   consequences,  surprisingly little is known about  their
determinants. Moreover,  the few  studies that exist reach contradictory
conclusions. In this article, the author examines  how  factors relating
to uncertainty and  bargaining complexity influence the duration of the
government   formation  process  in 16 West   European  countries  from
1944  to  1998. In line with the  article's theoretical expectations, the
author finds that factors increasing uncertainty over the type of cabinet
that is acceptable always lead to delays in forming governments but that
factors increasing bargaining complexity, such as the number  of parties
and  ideological polarization in the legislature, only do so when there is
sufficient uncertainty among political actors.The present analysis helps to
resolve the contradictory findings in the literature.


'Florida State UniversityTallahassee, FL USA

Corresponding Author:
Sona N. Golder, Florida State University, Political Science Department, 553 Bellamy,
Tallahassee, FL 32309, USA
Email: sgolder@fsu.edu; Homepage: http://www.fsu.edu/-polisci/people/faculty/sgolderhtm

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