Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science

Anthea Alberto

Anthea Alberto

BGSS Generation 2018



The Influence of Public Opinion on Coalitions – a Comparative Approach





How does public opinion and change therein affect coalitions? The aim of my research is to link public opinion change and the dynamics such a change can create to government parties´ likelihood to stray from coalition agreements. Additionally, I want to analyze how non-compliance is communicated by government parties.

A change in public opinion can be understood in two ways: the literal sense, when public opinion changes from favorable to an issue to unfavorable or vice versa, or when an issue that was largely ignored suddenly becomes important. It is likely that these two types are not identical in the way they affect coalition parties.

It is theorized that different circumstances can make non-compliance more or less likely. An example is the presence or absence of specific control mechanisms within coalitions which enable coalition partners to keep tabs on each other. Another example is the structure of a coalition and how diverging the partners´ priorities and opinions are.

In addition to analyzing the circumstances that make non-compliance more likely, I also aim to determine how public opinion change and its effects are communicated by coalition partners to the general public and whether a tonal shift can be observed.