Shadowing Ministers: Monitoring Partners in Coalition Governments
Cox, Gary W.
In this article the authors study delegation problems within multiparty coalition governments. They argue that coalition parties can use the committee system to “shadow” the ministers of their partners; that is, they can appoint committee chairs from other governing parties, who will then be well placed to monitor and/or check the actions of the corresponding ministers. The authors analyze which ministers should be shadowed if governing parties seek to minimize the aggregate policy losses they suffer as the result of ministers pursuing their own parties’ interests rather than the coalition’s. Based on data from 19 mostly European parliamentary democracies, the authors find that the greater the policy disagreement between a minister’s party and its partners, the more likely the minister is to be shadowed.
coalitions; delegation; legislatures; parliamentary committees