Coalitions in the EU Council: Pitfalls of Multidimensional Analysis
Year: 2011 Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Pages: 249-266
Abstract: The paper identifies the main problems, which are encountered in the statistical analysis of the patterns of decision-making of the EU Council. Compared to most legislative bodies in democratic political systems, in the EU Council decision-making we only see a scarce occurrence of contested legislation and in these cases, only few dissenting positions of the legislators are recorded. Consequently, when analysing the dimensionality of the Council policy space, we have to deal with extremely lopsided data, which may pose serious problems to standard multivariate methods. The paper aims to identify these problems and discuss the implications for the inference on the coalition formation in the EU Council. The assessment is done based on distribution of the data on voting in the EU Council and results of multivariate methods which are available.
JEL classification: C38
Keywords: Council of the EU, factor analysis, cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling
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