Government formation in Finland 1948-1999: Coalition theoretical perspective

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Title: Government formation in Finland 1948-1999: Coalition theoretical perspective
Author: Åkermarck, Mikael
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science
Date: 2002-03-01
Language: en
Thesis level: Licentiate thesis
Abstract: This paper sets out to examine the forming of coalition governments in Finland between 1948 and 1999. The reason for the theoretical examination of this study is to prove that the mathematical diagrams of the developed games theories are too mathematical to fulfil the function which was given them. Although the coalition theories have been revised since they were created in the 1960s and 1970s a lot of research has shown that these theories can not be applied to the forming of coalition governments in Finland. Historical considerations have always played a greater role in deciding the different combinations of political parties found in a Finnish coalition governments than the political considerations advocated by the theories. Based on the factors that apply to the Finnish situation this paper sets out to put forward a new theory called the Coalition Competency Theory. In Finland there have been a lot of coalition competency factors which have imposed conditions on which political parties can be accepted as a coalition partner. But by far the most dominant role in the government formation process has been held by the head of state. The naming of the government is one of the most important tasks for a president. An attempt made to show this was made in Markku Laakso's research in the early 1973. Here the author shows the fact that a coalition formed on a theoretical bases is not practically possible. In the middle of 1990`s an other main reserach was published where was presented a theory that there are a number of constraints that can reduce the range of coalition options. The formation of the coalitions from 1948 to 1999 can be divided into two main time periods. The first covers the forming of the governments between 1948 and 1983. This period is referred to as the Season of the No-Alternatives because of the similar coalition governments that were formed in spite of the varied results of the general elections. Whereas the period since 1987 to 1999 is referred to as the Season of Alternatives because a distinct difference can be notice between the government coalitions formed.
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Subject: Coalition theories
Political parties

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