Dimensions of Legislative Conflict: Coalitions, Obstructionism, and Lawmaking in Multiparty Presidential Regimes

Lucio Renno, Universidade de Brasília
Taeko Hiroi, University of Texas at El Paso

Hiroi, T. and Renno, L. (2014), Dimensions of Legislative Conflict. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 39: 357-386. doi:10.1111/lsq.12049


This article addresses central issues in multiparty presidential systems: the functioning of legislative coalitions and the dynamics of legislative conflict. Since electoral competition has elements of both positive‐sum (increase in common support) and zero‐sum (exact division of the support) qualities, lawmaking in coalitional systems presents unique challenges. Using legislative data from Brazil, we examine how coalition management and unity affect legislative delay and obstructionism. We find, among others, that: (1) coalition management is pivotal for both faster legislative approval and less obstructionism, but its effect depends on coalition size; and (2) cohesive opposition impedes the legislative process.