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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The end of the transition period is likely to expose even more fully the scope of the policy-making that the government can carry out via Statutory Instruments, as it uses its new powers to develop post-Brexit law. However, there are few signs yet of a wish to reform delegated legislation scrutiny, on the part of government or the necessary coalition of MPs.
Parliament’s role around the end of the Brexit transition and conclusion of the EU future relationship treaty is a constitutional failure to properly scrutinise the executive and the law. As the UK moves to do things differently after 1 January, MPs must do more to ensure they can better discharge their responsibilities regarding the making of UK treaties.
The EU (Future Relationship) Bill is to be considered by both Houses in just one sitting day. How unusual is such an expedited timetable and how much time will parliamentarians really have to look at the Bill? How will MPs participate in proceedings given Covid-19 restrictions? And how will proceedings, particularly the amendment process, work on the day?
The Coronavirus pandemic has added to the questions surrounding the nature of the Parliament that should emerge from the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal programme. But, with concerns over the programme’s governance and public engagement rising, the report arising from the current review of the programme will not now be published this year.
The debate about remote participation in House of Commons proceedings raises critical questions about what constitutes a ‘good parliamentarian’, what ‘fair’ participation looks like, and who gets to decide. As things stand, the exclusion from much parliamentary business of pregnant women, among others, undermines equality of political representation.
Disputed parliamentary election results – often taking months to resolve – were a frequent feature of English political culture before the reforms of the 19th century. But how could defeated candidates protest the result of an election, and how were such disputes resolved?