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Policy Instability in a Comparative Perspective: The Context of Heresthetic

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Abstract

This article studies the factors that affect the likelihood of radical policy changes. Radical policy changes are defined here as acts in which political leaders choose a policy that is contradictory to policies they have committed to during elections and on whose basis they have formed coalitions. The reason for such changes is that quandaries change the policy space that shapes elections and initial coalitions. This change creates incentives for political players to re-bargain over existing coalitions. As the bargaining process decreases the leaders' survival prospects, the likelihood of leaders to opt for the ‘wrong side’ of the policy space will increase. I validate this claim using a case study and a large-N quantitative analysis of 51 cases from 34 countries.

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