Articles on topics including House of Commons scrutiny of public appointments, the significance and influence of informal space in legislatures, and gender and media attention in the 2015 UK general election. This special edition issue also contains a collection of articles on the theme of ‘disunity in Parliament’.
- Improving Parliamentary Scrutiny of Public Appointments
Robert J D Hazell
- Power behind the Scenes: The Importance of Informal Space in Legislatures
Philip Norton (editors’ choice)
- Participatory Adaptation in Contemporary Parliamentary Committees in Australia
Carolyn M Hendriks, Sue Regan, Adrian Kay
- Candidate Gender and the Media Attention in the 2015 UK General Election
Justin Murphy, Beata Rek
- Mobilising the ‘People’s Army’ at the Grassroots: Examining Support for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in English Local Elections
Michael Thrasher, Matthew J Goodwin, Colin Rallings, Galina Borisyuk
- Parliamentary Scrutiny of Aid Spending: The Case of the Global Challenges Research Fund
Ambreena Manji, Peter Mandler
- Conservative Feminists? An Exploration of Feminist Arguments in Parliamentary Debates of the Bundestag1
Special edition: disunity in Parliament
Guest editors: Caroline Close and Sergiu Gherghina
- Introduction: Towards a Better Understanding of Parliamentary Unity
Caroline Close, Sergiu Gherghina
- Prompting Legislative Agreement and Loyalty: What Role for Intra-Party Democracy?
Caroline Close, Sergiu Gherghina, Vivien Sierens
- Two Faces of Party Unity: Roll-Call Behavior and Vote Explanations in the German Bundestag
Thomas Zittel, Dominic Nyhuis
- Are Backbenchers Fighting Back? Intra-Party Contestation in German Parliament Debates on the Greek Crisis
Caroline Bhattacharya, Achillefs Papageorgiou
- What Happens after Assignments? The Room for Manoeuvre of Committee Members in the Bundestag and the Tweede Kamer
Tim A Mickler
- Intra-Party Group Unity in the European Parliament Prior to its First Direct Elections in 1979
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Articles on themes including the development of Sweden’s now 100-year-old parliamentary democracy, strategic voting among Lib Dem supporters in the 2015 general election, policy areas associated with personal attacks at Prime Minister’s Questions, UK intergovernmental relations and spending after the Conservative-DUP ‘confidence and supply’ deal, and more.
In Ireland, the Covid-19 crisis collided with a ‘change election’, the formation of a historic coalition government and the ‘end of Civil War politics’. But the pandemic sucked much of the oxygen out of a heightened political atmosphere, and also occasioned the physical relocation of Parliament, challenging the institution’s operation and culture.
Submitting evidence before the House was to take further decisions on its Coronavirus arrangements, we decried the Leader of the House’s decision to end hybrid proceedings and remote voting as "over-hasty, poorly thought-through, unwise and unnecessary". Our recommendations covered House business, risk management, delegated legislation and select committees.
The new review of the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal project opens up a range of different outcomes for the future of the building. However, with the alarming state of the Palace not changed by the Coronavirus, the government should not use the pandemic as an excuse to downgrade or delay the much-needed repairs.
Jersey’s States Assembly was the first legislature in the Commonwealth to hold a full virtual meeting, with all members able to participate, in order to get around the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 crisis. Mark Egan, Greffier of the States, describes how this was achieved and suggests that some of the States Assembly’s Covid-19 innovations may stick.
The unprecedentedly long delay in appointing the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) again exposes the extent to which the work of this parliamentary committee is constrained by the executive. Important ISC inquiries, as well as publication of the Committee’s ‘Russia report’, are being held up.