January 25, 2022: Who gets the say in the coalition agreement? Local programs and municipal coalition agreements

Lecture by Simon Otjes on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 12:30, online.


Nearly all research into coalition negotiations focuses on the national level. This study applies existing insights about national coalition negotiations to the local context in the Netherlands. The central question is: to what extent and under what conditions are parties negotiating to form a coalition government able to get policy and office pay-offs? We expect that larger parties will see more of their positions and priorities in the local council agreement than smaller parties and get more seats in the local executive. After all, larger parties have more bargaining power.

In the analyses for this paper, we look at more than one thousand parties negotiating in more than 300 municipalities and specifically, we look at more than 1,000 local election manifestos of local parties and branches of national parties that were in coalitions and more than 300 local coalition agreements. We apply an automated, quantitative "bag-of-words" approach to these texts. We estimate the policy positions of these texts using word scores and the attention they devote to issues using Latent Dirichlet Allocation. We find strong evidence that proportionality is the norm in Dutch local coalition agreements.

Simon Otjes


Simon Otjes works as an assistant professor at Leiden University and as researcher the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University. His research examines political parties, parliaments, interest groups and public opinion in the Netherlands and Europe. In particular his research focuses on the patterns that structure conflict and cooperation between political actors: these include ideological lines of conflict which divide political parties, the dimensions that structure public opinion and the patterns in parliamentary voting. At the DNPP, he focuses on developments in European and Dutch party politics.

  More information about Simon Otjes: https://simonotjes.nl/en/ 






Moderation: David Willumsen, Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck








Tuesday, January 25, 2022



 12:30 - 13:30


The event is held in English.




We look forward to welcoming students and guest auditors! The events will take place via livestream. No registration necessary. 
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