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Published 1983 | public
Journal Article

Pre-Meeting Discussions and the Possibility of Coalition-Breaking Procedures in Majority Rule Committees


The concept of a coalition is fundamental to many formal and informal models of group decision processes. It finds its way into discussions which report impressionistic accounts of political decisions. It underlies most of cooperative game theory. And, it is at the heart of legal theories which justify institutions (such as sunshine laws)1 which in the name of social policy limit the activities of some individuals or groups. However, in spite of its widespread popularity the ·usefulness of the concept is still open to question. Coalitions are not always operationally defined and models which do not reify coalitions predict outcomes as well as those which do.

Additional Information

© 1983 Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague. The authors wish to thank Morris P. Fiorina, David M. Grether, and Forrest Nelson for their helpful comments. Brian Binger, Mary Doan, James Hong, Mark Isaac, Carl Lydick, and Merle Splitter helped recruit subjects and run experiments. Support provided by the National Science Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

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August 19, 2023
March 5, 2024