Christiansen, Flemming Juul2; Pedersen, Helene Helboe3
1 Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Roskilde Universitet3 Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Coalition governance is a challenge for political parties because it involves cooperation and compromises between parties that have different political goals and are competitors in political elections. Coalition coordination is crucial for the intra-coalitional cooperation of the governing parties. A key element in coalition coordination is coalition agreements, which to a varying degree constrain the behaviour of the coalition partners. This article explores the share of laws that were precisely defined in government agreements and/or legislative agreements, and sets out to explain variation in this share of coalition agreement-based laws. The analyses are based on unique data on legislative as well as governmental coalition agreements entered by three Danish governments with varying parliamentary strength. This study brings the blooming literature on coalition agreements one step further by showing that coalition governance is influenced by government strength. The legislative practice of strong coalition governments is less accommodative but more pre-regulated by coalition agreements.