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Calculation or donation? Choosing partners in the formation of coalitions in local government in Belgium

Ellen Olislagers (UGent) and Kristof Steyvers (UGent)
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Abstract
This paper focuses on coalition formation and outcomes in Belgian local government. Examining the growing number of coalitions at the local level offers the opportunity to compare a large number of coalitions at the same time and within the same institutional context as opposed to the supralocal level. Coalition theories are often developed to study coalition formation and its outcome at the national level. This paper tries to find out to what extent some of these theories can be applied to the local level in Belgium. More specifically, it aims to predict the coalition outcomes following the local elections of 2006. Due to the difficulty of quantifying policy dimensions at the local level, mainly office-seeking theories are taken into consideration. The quantitative results demonstrated that size-oriented theories and also the experience of governing together in the past play an important role in the coalition formation in Belgian local government. Predicting coalitions is just one way to scrutinize coalition formation. Predicting a process by its outcome downplays the complexities of the bargaining process that accompanies coalition formation. Therefore, it might also be interesting to look at this process beyond the rather simple size-oriented coalition theories usually included in quantitative analysis.
Keywords
local government, coalitions

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Chicago
Olislagers, Ellen, and Kristof Steyvers. 2011. “Calculation or Donation? Choosing Partners in the Formation of Coalitions in Local Government in Belgium.” In 61st Political Studies Association Annual Conference : Transforming Politics : New Synergies, Proceedings, 1–18. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Political Science.
APA
Olislagers, E., & Steyvers, K. (2011). Calculation or donation? Choosing partners in the formation of coalitions in local government in Belgium. 61st political studies association annual conference : transforming politics : new synergies, Proceedings (pp. 1–18). Presented at the 61st Political Studies Association Annual Conference : Transforming Politics : New Synergies, Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Political Science.
Vancouver
1.
Olislagers E, Steyvers K. Calculation or donation? Choosing partners in the formation of coalitions in local government in Belgium. 61st political studies association annual conference : transforming politics : new synergies, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Political Science; 2011. p. 1–18.
MLA
Olislagers, Ellen, and Kristof Steyvers. “Calculation or Donation? Choosing Partners in the Formation of Coalitions in Local Government in Belgium.” 61st Political Studies Association Annual Conference : Transforming Politics : New Synergies, Proceedings. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University, Department of Political Science, 2011. 1–18. Print.
@inproceedings{1214013,
  abstract     = {This paper focuses on coalition formation and outcomes in Belgian local government. Examining the growing number of coalitions at the local level offers the opportunity to compare a large number of coalitions at the same time and within the same institutional context as opposed to the supralocal level. Coalition theories are often developed to study coalition formation and its outcome at the national level. This paper tries to find out to what extent some of these theories can be applied to the local level in Belgium. More specifically, it aims to predict the coalition outcomes following the local elections of 2006. Due to the difficulty of quantifying policy dimensions at the local level, mainly office-seeking theories are taken into consideration. The quantitative results demonstrated that size-oriented theories and also the experience of governing together in the past play an important role in the coalition formation in Belgian local government. Predicting coalitions is just one way to scrutinize coalition formation. Predicting a process by its outcome downplays the complexities of the bargaining process that accompanies coalition formation. Therefore, it might also be interesting to look at this process beyond the rather simple size-oriented coalition theories  usually included in quantitative analysis.},
  author       = {Olislagers, Ellen and Steyvers, Kristof},
  booktitle    = {61st political studies association annual conference : transforming politics : new synergies, Proceedings},
  keywords     = {local government,coalitions},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {London, UK},
  pages        = {1--18},
  publisher    = {Ghent University, Department of Political Science},
  title        = {Calculation or donation? Choosing partners in the formation of coalitions in local government in Belgium},
  year         = {2011},
}