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Government‐opposition or left‐right? The institutional determinants of voting in legislatures

Hix, Simon and Noury, Abdul (2016) Government‐opposition or left‐right? The institutional determinants of voting in legislatures. Political Science Research and Methods, 4 (2). pp. 249-273. ISSN 2049-8470

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Identification Number: 10.1017/psrm.2015.9

Abstract

We use roll-call voting data from 16 legislatures to investigate how the institutional context of politics – such as whether a country is a parliamentary or presidential regime, or has a single-party, coalition or minority government – shapes coalition formation and voting behaviour in parliaments. We use a geometric scaling metric to estimate the ‘revealed space’ in each of these legislatures and a vote-by-vote statistical analysis to identify how much of this space can be explained by government-opposition dynamics as opposed to (leftright) policy positions of parties. We find that government-opposition interests rather than parties’ policy positions are the main drivers of voting behaviour in most institutional contexts. In contrast, we find that issue-by-issue coalition-building along a single policy dimension only exists under restrictive institutional constraints; namely presidential regimes with coalition governments or parliamentary systems with minority governments. Put another way, voting in most legislatives is more like Westminster than Washington, DC.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: © 2015 The European Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Collections > United States Collection
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2015 15:04
Last Modified: 14 May 2019 23:06
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/62179

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