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    Coalitions have a limited life-span. There has been quite some research on the duration of coalitions and on the factors explaining variations in duration. But there is so far no solid theory on the mechanics of the termination of coalitions. This article gives an overview of the mechanics of termination in Belgian politics. By using the contextual approach (Pridham), that has originally been produced to analyse coalition formation, this overview might be a first step in the construction of a comparative explanatory model. The historical context, the institutional setting, the international context and the economical situation are described as elements that affect the termination of coalitions. The Belgian ethno-linguistic cleavage proves to be a very effective coalition-killer.

Kris Deschouwer
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