This Handbook of Democratic Government is the first compact and comprehensive data collection which simultaneously provides comparative and complete information on the composition of governments between 1945 and 1998 in 48 countries across the democratic world. Parties, ministries, competences, ministers and parliamentary support are listed, as well as duration, type of government and reasons for termination. This information is provided for 48 parliamentary democracies, covering the whole period 1945-1998. Also included is additional comparative information on institutions and governance, based on the countries' constitutions and related basic laws. The data are organised in such a manner that every researcher can use them as a basic data set, ready to be transformed according to the particular needs dictated by the research undertaken. Various levels of analysis are possible, both cross-nationally and across time, ranging from individual ministers and separate ministries to specific parties, governments or countries. This data collection will save researchers in the field of comparative politics valuable time and resources as it can be utilised in connection with, or in addition to, other data sources.