This study examines five basic themes in the politics of coalition government: the identity and motivation of those involved in the coalition; the eventual membership of the coalition as they form; their durability; the payoffs that are shared out by coalition members; and the impact of constitutional, behavioral, and historical constraints on the process of bargaining. Offering a wide range of detailed case studies, this discussion reconciles both theoretical and empirical approaches to provide insight into contemporary coalition governments in Europe. The politics of coalition is inherent in the political process of most European countries. Coalition may be analyzed either theoretically or empirically; this study reconciles both approaches. Providing insight into contemporary coalition theory, and placing it in the context of coalition politics, this work examines five basic themes: the identity and motivation of those involved in coalition politics; the eventual membership of coalitions; durability; payoffs; and the impact of constitutional, behavioral, and historical constraints on the process of coalition bargaining.Laver, Michael J. is the author of 'Multiparty Government' with ISBN 9780198272939 and ISBN 0198272936.