Many scholars argue that domestic politics can tie the hands of diplomats, who can sometimes exploit these constraints for bargaining leverage in international negotiations. The author examines domestic institutions that make such constraints permanent, and thus credible, in a parliamentary system. Existing "divided government" theories are unable to explain the pattern of parliamentary constraints that we find because they treat executive preferences as exogenous to the legislature. In the author's model of parliamentary politics, in contrast, parties may constrain the government by forming governing coalitions or establishing effective oversight institutions. This model explains the variation in these oversight mechanisms among the members of the European Union (EU). The most interesting of these is Denmark's system of parliamentary oversight, which the author analyzes in detail. Among the newest members of the EU, analogous institutions are most likely in Sweden and least likely in Austria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations