Introduction

The stability of governments has been a longstanding question in political science. There have been several studies concerned with this topic. Different variables have been taken into consideration, when researching government stability, for example economic or institutional factors. A lot of the research in political also focused on the aspects of the party system and its influence on government stability. Their results show quite strong evidence, that the configuration of the party system indeed has a strong influence on the survival of governments. Concerning the party system fractionalization in terms of the number of parties as well as the ideological differences between the parties seem to be important variables for government stability. A large amount of the research on this topic has been focused on party systems in the West. However, since the end of the cold war and the political transformation of the former communist countries in Eastern Europe, research interest has also risen in those regions of
Europe. Comparing the differences and commonalities of the results of those studies might give an overview for a more general understanding of what government stability in relation to party systems consists of and what results can be accounted as region specific. Therefore, the aim of
this paper is to give an outline of the theoretical understandings of government stability/survival, parliamentary party systems and their fractionalization based on coalition theory and theories about ideological fragmentation. Finally, the empirical results of several studies on these regions will be compared to gain an overview about the results based on the aforementioned theoretical framework.

 

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