Reassessing the Role and the Benefits of Junior Ministers in Coalition Governments

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Junior ministers are very common in coalition governments. Existing research argues that parties assign junior ministers to satisfy the office goals of coalition partners or as a mechanism to manage delegation costs. This article aims to reassess this argument. Using interviews, personal calendars, coalition agreements and an original data set on junior ministers in Israel, it finds that junior ministers are engaged in policymaking either on general issues under the ministry’s jurisdiction or issues that are salient to their party. Although rival junior ministers have the capacity and the incentive to monitor the minister, they do so only on the margins, either because they do not need to, or because they focus on safeguarding their policymaking autonomy. Finally, all junior ministers assist the minister and represent the ministry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • coalition government
  • junior ministers


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