Appointing ministers to multiparty cabinets

Despina Alexiadou, Jude C. Hays

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How does intra-party competition affect governance in multiparty cabinets? For a long time scholars have recognized that intra-party competition and the strength of factions can affect governance through the selection of cabinet min- isters or through policy negotiations among coalition partners. Yet, there has been very little, if any, quantitative work to test these expectations, primar- ily due to lack of data that could either measure party cohesion or ministerial types. Using novel data on both accounts, this paper investigates how intra- party ideological cohesion affects ministerial appointments in four European countries with multiparty governments: Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland. We make two important contributions in this paper. First, we pro- vide a theory of ministerial appointments predicting that when there is intra- party conflict over policy, more ideologically extreme ministers are appointed. This prediction holds even in multiparty cabinets, going against one’s expec- tations that more moderate ministers should be appointed in multiparty cab- inets Second, utilizing unique data on ministers’ background, we show that intra-party conflict predicts the appointments of ministers with more extreme policy preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
EventAmerican Political Science Association Annual Meeting & Exhibition - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Sept 20164 Sept 2016


ConferenceAmerican Political Science Association Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • intra-party competition
  • multiparty governments
  • governance
  • government
  • multiparty cabinets
  • ministerial appointments


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