This project examines the dynamic relationships between the key actors of representative democracy in EU member states: voters, political parties, parliaments and governments. Central to the functioning of representative democracy is the election of political representatives to the national parliaments by the citizens, who forms the government and the stability of governments.
The project investigates the ‘life-cycle’ of governments, in four different stages – from the election stage, to its formation, governance and termination. More precisely, the focus is on the consequences of comparative political institutions and explore the effects of different political institutions (i.e. party systems, presidential powers, rules of investitures, bicameral parliaments) on a variety of political outcomes. Of particular interest are the implications of these institutions on cabinet formation, coalition governance and termination. Thus, in the project I investigate how political institutions or institutional rules (such as electoral and decision rules) can be designed to ensure effective governance, avoid government breakdowns and promote political stability?
As the constitutional and procedural rules vary considerably between parliamentary democracies, this variation will be used for developing an empirically based knowledge of the effects of institutional rules on political outcomes.