As a result of the financial crisis, opposition parties have had to choose between the need to cooperate with the majority in order to contribute to necessary socio-economic changes, and the opportunity to stress their adversarial position vis-à-vis governments taking radical and unpopular measures.

This book examines how opposition parties address this dilemma. It relies on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the behaviour of the opposition parties in parliament, in light of the socio-economic issues that have arisen in recent years. It focuses in particular on the impact that the economic malaise has had on the government-opposition dynamics in the four southern European democracies most acutely hit by the crisis: Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as in the European Parliament. Each chapter utilizes a combination of empirical data analysis and qualitative process-tracking to understand the opposition parties’ complicated choice between supporting and dissenting.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Legislative Studies.

chapter |13 pages

Introduction: Conflict and Consensus in Parliament during the Economic Crisis

ByCatherine Moury, Elisabetta De Giorgi

chapter |21 pages

Government–Opposition Dynamics during the Economic Crisis in Greece

ByKostas Gemenis, Roula Nezi

chapter |21 pages

Incumbents, Opposition and International Lenders: Governing Portugal in Times of Crisis

ByElisabetta De Giorgi, Catherine Moury, JoÃo Pedro Ruivo

chapter |21 pages

Government–Opposition Dynamics in Spain under the Pressure of Economic Collapse and the Debt Crisis

ByAnna M. Palau, Luz MuÑoz MÁrquez, Laura ChaquÉs-Bonafont

chapter |5 pages

Conclusions: Great Recession, Great Cooperation?

ByElisabetta De Giorgi, Catherine Moury