Despite concerns about the ‘life and death’ of democracy, parliaments and legislatures continue to provide the most decisive political arena in any democratic polity. This reflects the fact that parliaments and legislatures continue to fulfil a critical role in terms of providing a link, bridge or buckle across a variety of dimensions (i.e. between the governors and the governed, between backbenchers and frontbenchers, and between legislative and scrutiny roles). This module focuses on how parliaments and legislatures operate and is founded on the basis of theoretically-informed but policy-relevant research. It therefore attempts to provide students with a sense of why cultures, traditions and informal relationships matter as much (if not more) than formal procedures. Although the House of Commons and the House of Lords provide the main institutional focus for this module students will be encouraged to adopt a comparative approach whenever possible and to situate their analysis within an appreciation of the changing role of parliament within evolving frameworks of multi-level governance.
Topics covered on this module include:
Optional Research Project Module
You also have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge by undertaking a supervised 7,000-word research project on a topic arising from the work done on Parliamentary Studies.