Policy-Seeking and Office-Seeking: Categorizing Parties Based on Coalition Payoff Allocation

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14 Scopus citations


Characterizations of political parties as policy-seeking or office-seeking have been vague, anecdotal, or theoretical. This research builds on coalition allocation research to develop an empirical determination of parties’ behavior. Through analysis of eight coalition governments in Israel from 1992 to 2015, this work classifies parties based on the degree to which the payoffs they obtain in coalition negotiations are conducive to their policy goals. The results indicate that nonformateur parties tend to be more policy-seeking and formateur parties more office-seeking. The research also reveals disparities in proportions of policy-seeking and office-seeking payoffs obtained by different types of parties. This work makes several research contributions, including development of an empirical method for identifying parties as policy-seeking or office-seeking, broadening allocation analysis to include deputy ministers and committee chairs, and providing a qualitative evaluation of coalition allocation based on the policy value of each payoff for the party obtaining it. Related Articles: Vercesi, Michelangelo. 2016. “Coalition Politics and Inter-Party Conflict Management: A Theoretical Framework.” Politics & Policy 44 (2): 168-219. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1747-1346. Posey, Kevin H. 1994. “The Electoral Consequences of Coalition Behavior.” Southeastern Political Review 22 (3): 549-557. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1747-1346. Mizrahi, Shlomo, Fany Yuval, and Nissim Cohen. 2014. “Alternative Politics and Attitudes toward the Welfare State: Theory and Empirical Findings from Israel.” Politics & Policy 42 (6): 850-880. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1747-1346.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-31
Number of pages28
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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