Understanding how coalition governments shape individual ministers’ role in policymaking

Name of applicant

Peter Heyn Nielsen


Postdoctoral Fellow


University of Oxford


DKK 1,059,179



Type of grant

Reintegration Fellowships


Many governments are coalitions of two or more parties with often different ideological perceptions. Despite their differences, these parties must agree on policies as governments play a crucial role in the legislative process. Focusing on Denmark, this project explores how and to what extent the composition of a coalition can shape individual ministers’ influence on governments’ policies.


Ministers play a crucial legislative role in Denmark. This role will supposedly be different, when ministers are part of a coalition government, but how and to what extent this is the case remains an open question. As coalitions has become increasingly common this is particularly important for our understanding of whose preferences shape policies in parliamentary democracies.


Scholars of policymaking in coalition governments typically examine political parties. The innovative approach of this project is to examine ministers individually. By using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this project explores how and to what extent the impact of a coalition’s composition on a cabinet’s policymaking can depend on the individual ministers comprising it.

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