The Consequences of Divided Government

John J. Coleman, David C.W. Parker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article starts by asking: what is the nature of political parties in a system of separated powers? It then describes the most recent empirical manifestation of that debate: does party control of government matter? It also discusses what has yet to be learned about divided government and provides some thoughts about future research directions. The policy production of the president and Congress is greater in periods of unified government. Much of the research on divided government has focused on legislative outputs. The president's use of his commander in chief powers also varies systematically depending on party control. Furthermore, it explores the avenues that may benefit research into the presidency and largely set to the side other possible research directions regarding divided government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191584855
ISBN (Print)9780199238859
StatePublished - May 2 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • American president
  • Congress
  • Divided government
  • Party control
  • Policy production
  • Political parties
  • Powers
  • Presidency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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