Policy and Coalition in Belgium

  • Derek John Hearl


Governments in Belgium tend to be short-lived, though government stability has risen significantly since the 1970s. As a consequence, there have been 35 cabinets during the study period, 1945–87 (see Table G.2). All but five of these have been coalitions; twenty-five of them have been formed by various combinations of the ‘traditional’ Catholic, Socialist and Liberal Parties without the participation of any other party. The most typical combination, accounting for sixteen out of the thirty-five governments, has been a two-party coalition comprising the Catholics (PSC/CVP) and either the Liberal PRL/PVV or the Socialist PS/SP. Government stability was relatively low during the immediate post-war period but rose steadily during the 1950s and 1960s, fell dramatically during the 1970s and is now rising once more. Broadly speaking then, periods of government stability have tended to coincide with periods of coalition between the PSC/CVP and one other traditional party; periods of low stability have coincided with other combinations.


Party System Government Coalition Coalition Partner Party Policy Belgian Government 
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Copyright information

© M. J. Laver and Ian Budge 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek John Hearl

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