Denmark: How to Form and Govern Minority Coalitions

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Not much has changed in Denmark in the past few decades when it comes to the institutional setting and government formation: Danish governments remain predominantly of the minority form, most of them coalitions; the formal institutions of the constitution and the procedures for government formation have not been altered, and neither has the party system changed much. Likewise, the number of portfolios remain steady at around twenty. Yet, the internal workings of Danish governments have changed. Based on interviews with leading former ministers, the chapter shows how, over the last thirty years, Danish coalition governance has shifted towards more centralized decision-making through hierarchical coordination committees and oversight from the office of the prime minister and the ministry of finance. Actual decision moves away from the model of full individual responsibility for ministers found in the constitution. Furthermore, Danish governments now usually remain in office for the full term. All of this indicates that the Danish case provides a scenario in which political parties have developed a form to make minority governments function effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoalition Governance in Western Europe
EditorsTorbjörn Bergman, Hanna Bäck, Johan Hellström
Number of pages41
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date10 Aug 2021
ISBN (Print)9780198868484
ISBN (Electronic)9780192638977
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021
SeriesComparative Politics

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