This review deals with the making and breaking of governments in “minority legislatures” in which no political party controls a majority of seats. It looks at both a priori and empirical approaches to analyzing government formation, at the application of both cooperative and noncooperative game-theoretic models, and at the impact of both office-seeking and policy-seeking assumptions about the motivations of politicians. Substantive themes covered include the partisan composition of both minority and majority cabinets, the allocation of cabinet portfolios between parties, and the duration of cabinets in minority legislatures. The way forward in this field is identified in terms of the need for more dynamic models that see government formation as a complex system within the broader context of party competition as a whole, and for models that take fundamental account of intraparty politics in their description of the strategic behavior of political parties.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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