Greece: from coalitions as a ‘state of exception’ to the new normal?'

Tsakatika, M. (2021) Greece: from coalitions as a ‘state of exception’ to the new normal?'. In: Bergman, T., Bäck, H. and Hellström, J. (eds.) Coalition Governance in Western Europe. Oxford University Press: Oxford, pp. 284-323. ISBN 9780198868484 (doi: 10.1093/oso/9780198868484.003.0009)

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Coalition government has been exceptional in Greece since the consolidation of democracy in 1974 but in the aftermath of the global financial crisis its occurrence has become more frequent. Most Greek government coalitions are surplus connected coalitions assembled to address an economic or national crisis and do not involve formal coalition agreements. Their formation takes place after a brief bargaining phase strictly circumscribed by precise constitutional rules under the aegis of the president of the republic. Greek coalitions are governed primarily by ad hoc fora of party leaders that make key decisions and resolve inter-coalitional conflict. The prime minister and key ministers dominate policy arguments, albeit taking into account the wishes of party leaders. The termination of coalitions is by and large due to party leaders’ strategic considerations, though the importance of policy disagreement among the partners is becoming a more significant consideration. While the post-crisis overhaul of the Greek party system has not greatly affected the main characteristics of the coalition life cycle, there is evidence that greater experience with coalition government may be leading to some tentative institutionalization of power-sharing practices and greater acceptance of such practices among political elites.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tsakatika, Professor Myrto
Authors: Tsakatika, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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