24.11.2016 11:00

New article by Jens Jungblut on the role of political parties for higher education policy

Jens Jungblut (2016). From preferences to policies in coalition governments—Unpacking policy making in European higher education. Public Policy and Administration, online first.

This article focuses on the role of political parties for policy making, and it traces the development from party preferences over coalition positions to policy proposals. The main argument is that parties with more similar preferences agree on more encompassing sets of policies, and that if a coalition formulates a policy in its agreement the chances for a policy proposal are higher. However, the need to negotiate the coalition agreement with other parties mediates the influence of partisan preferences. The article is based on a qualitative content analysis of documents as well as expert interviews from three West European countries and focuses on higher education policy. The results show preferences of governing parties influence policy proposals also in situations of coalition government. Furthermore, coalition agreements are found to be central documents in policy making as they limit veto capacities and indicate where substantial policy change is likely.