Coalition oversight and blame avoidance in Greece

Tzelgov, Eitan (2017) Coalition oversight and blame avoidance in Greece. European Political Science Review, 9 (1). pp. 95-114. ISSN 1755-7739

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Abstract

This article examines the behavior of Greek political parties before, as well as during, the recent austerity period. Drawing on coalition oversight and blame avoidance literature, it argues that the unpopularity of austerity governments leads to extreme levels of dissent within the coalition. I operationalize this ‘intra-coalition opposition’ behavior using parliamentary questions, a legislative institution that has not been studied in the context of coalition politics. The analysis demonstrates that junior members in unpopular austerity governments increase their use of parliamentary questions to a degree that matches or even exceeds the formal opposition. However, intra-coalition dissent is conditional on the type of unpopular government policies, and on the ideology of coalition members. Specifically, using a new method of text analysis, I show that while the socialist Panhellenic Socialist Movement uses its parliamentary questions to avoid or minimize the blame associated with austerity policies, the conservative New Democracy does not, because left-leaning parties are electorally vulnerable to austerity measures. The results have implications for studying dissent in coalition politics in general, and the politics of austerity in particular.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: parties,blame avoidance,parliamentary questions,coalitions,opposition
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 09:21
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 00:08
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/57726
DOI: 10.1017/S1755773915000284

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