Introduction: Coalition Politics and Foreign Policy

Kai Oppermann, Juliet Kaarbo, Klaus Brummer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiparty coalitions are an increasingly common type of government across political regime types and world regions. Since they are the locus of national foreign policy making, the dynamics of coalition government have significant implications for international relations. Despite this growing significance, the foreign policy making of coalition governments is only partly understood. This symposium advances the study of coalition foreign policy in three closely related ways. First, it brings together in one place the state of the art in research on coalition foreign policy. Second, the symposium pushes the boundaries of our knowledge on four dimensions that are key to a comprehensive research agenda on coalition foreign policy: the foreign policy outputs of multiparty coalitions; the process of foreign policy making in different types of coalitions; coalition foreign policy in the ‘Global South’; and coalition dynamics in non-democratic settings. Finally, the symposium puts forward promising avenues for further research by emphasising, for instance, the value of theory-guided comparative research that employs multi-method strategies and transcends the space of Western European parliamentary democracies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
JournalEuropean Political Science
Issue number4
Early online date26 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • coalitions
  • decision making
  • foreign policy analysis
  • comparative politics
  • methods


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