The core feature of a parliamentary system is not that governments tend to emerge from the legislatures in some way or another, but their political responsibility to this body. While in only some parliamentary systems the government needs formal support of parliament in order to take office, in all parliamentary systems no government can survive against the will of parliament. The academic literature related to the rules for how governments form is vast. Strikingly, scholars have paid far less attention to unpacking the core institution of parliamentary systems of government–the confidence relationship and the various no confidence procedures. Placing the focus on how the parliament can hold the government accountable, this special issue assesses the larger influences legislative confidence has on executive–legislative relations, and improves our understanding of the ways in which the executive may be challenged or dismissed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 242/16). The authors of the articles in this special issue convened twice to formulate and exchange their developing cases. The first time was at a 2019 workshop entitled ‘Parliaments and Government Termination’ during the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Joint Sessions of Workshops at the Université Catholique de Louvain, in Mons, Belgium. The second was in 2020 at the Jerusalem Workshop on ‘Parliaments and Government Termination Revisited’ at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. We want to thank all the participants at the two workshops convened to discuss the papers that eventually became part of this special issue, especially those who kindly gave us their time and suggestions but did not take part in this publication: Steffen Ganghof, Daniela Giannetti, Luca Pinto, and Or Tuttnauer. We also thank the numerous anonymous reviewers of all the articles and particularly the editor responsible for this special issue of West European Politics, Wolfgang C. Müller.
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- government formation
- government termination
- vote of no confidence