chapter  1
16 Pages

Introduction

WithGabriella Ilonszki, Giorgi Elisabetta De

The major scope of this comparative book is to understand how parliamentary opposition behaves in the 11 European countries under analysis and what can affect this behaviour. Furthermore, it aims at verifying whether variation is still the main characteristic of this political actor both within and among countries, as formerly argued (Dahl, 1966), or whether it is possible to identify any common trend in (some of) the examined countries. How the opposition exercises its prerogatives in parliament varies in relation to several systemic and non-systemic variables that will be briefly introduced in this first chapter. Expectations about their impact will be formulated, in particular, within three broad areas: the party context, the institutional setting in which parties interact and some specific external constraints, namely the onset of the global financial crisis and the increasing intervention of the EU in this context – producing novelties, variation, as well as general patterns in the opposition behaviour.