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Institutions and coalitions in policy processes: a cross-sectoral comparison

  • Manuel Fischer (a1)

Abstract

Actors with joint beliefs in a decision-making process form coalitions in order to translate their goals into policy. Yet, coalitions are not formed in an institutional void, but rather institutions confer opportunities and constraints to actors. This paper studies the institutional conditions under which either coalition structures with a dominant coalition or with competing coalitions emerge. It takes into account three conditions, i.e. the degree of federalism of a project, its degree of Europeanisation and the openness of the pre-parliamentary phase of the decision-making process. The cross-sectoral comparison includes the 11 most important decision-making processes in Switzerland between 2001 and 2006 with a fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Results suggest that Europeanisation or an open pre-parliamentary phase lead to a dominant coalition, whereas only a specific combination of all three conditions is able to explain a structure with competing coalitions.

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