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"Trust Is Good, Control Is Better": Multiparty Government and Legislative Organization

André, A and Depauw, S and Martin, S (2016) '"Trust Is Good, Control Is Better": Multiparty Government and Legislative Organization.' Political Research Quarterly, 69 (1). pp. 108-120. ISSN 1065-9129

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Even though institutional design clearly shapes legislative processes and outputs, explanation of cross-national variation in how legislatures are organized remains elusive. Building on research that emphasizes the role of legislatures in enforcing coalition agreements, we provide new data on committee structures in thirty-one parliamentary democracies, demonstrating that where multiparty government is the norm, legislatures tend to develop strong committees that are structurally equipped to enable the governing parties to keep tabs on one another?s ministers. To probe the institutional argument further, we present a case study of committee reform in the Irish parliament. We demonstrate that institutional change within the Irish parliament is directly related to the shift from single-party to multiparty government and in particular to the desire of the smaller coalition party to be able to keep tabs on the larger party?s ministers. The paper aims to spark a deeper dialogue among party and legislative scholars in search of the micro-foundations of legislative organization.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: legislative organization, committees, coalition government, parliamentary democracies, delegation and agency loss
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 13:21
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:25

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