The Social Cohesion of Pre-electoral Opposition Coalitions in the Swedish Parliament: A Network Perspective
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
One of the most essential function of the political opposition in stable democracies is to represent a credible alternative to the sitting government. The cohesion of the opposition parties’ pre-electoral coalitions is likely to play an important role in this regard. In this paper I compare the parliamentary-level social cohesion of two pre-electoral multiparty coalitions in Sweden: the four-party right wing-liberal Alliance for Sweden coalition, which successfully defeated the sitting Social Democratic government in the 2006 general elections, and the ultimately failed effort of the three-party Red-Green collaboration formed during the following parliamentary cycle. The study takes Robert Dahl’s notion of oppositional cohesion (1966) as a theoretical starting point and adopts a network analytic perspective in that social cohesion within these coalitions is investigated utilizing an analytic strategy adopted from the legislative networks literature. The results indicate that the opposition Alliance for Sweden was considerably more socially cohesive and well integrated across party boundaries than the later Red-Green coalition. These results are discussed in terms of the potential organizational benefits that socially well-integrated multiparty coalitions enjoy and in particular the electoral success of the Alliance for Sweden in 2006.
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76305OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-76305DiVA: diva2:526162