Parliaments and Government Formation: Unpacking Investiture Rules

Bjørn Erik Rasch (Editor), Shane Martin (Editor), José Antonio Cheibub (Editor)

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Under parliamentarism, the executive, typically termed ‘the government’, comes from, and remains responsible to, the national parliament. Although government formation has long been recognized as a core function of national parliaments, and despite the prevalence of comparative scholarship on the politics of government formation, surprisingly little research has explored the precise role of parliament in the process of government formation. For instance, exactly what does ‘come from’ parliament mean in the context of government formation under parliamentarism? The focus of this book is on the parliamentary investiture vote. Investiture consists of a vote in parliament to demonstrate that an already formed or about to be formed government has legislative support. To better understand the degree to which parliamentary rules and procedures impact government formation, the book ‘unpacks’ the investiture procedure by identifying and categorizing the great variation in investiture rules in various parliaments and examine how investiture procedures operate in practice. The sixteen case studies are complemented with two cross-national chapters. The case studies and quantitative evidence suggest that scholars of comparative politics need to pay greater attention to the more nuanced details of institutional design. Broad institutional design matters, but the details of institutional design may matter even more.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198747017
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • parliaments
  • neo-institutionalism
  • institutionalism
  • cabinet government
  • parliamentarism
  • coalition politics
  • government formation
  • legislatures


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