Does Devolution make a difference? A comparison of party-group interaction in the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.
In: PSA Parliaments and Legislatures Specialist Group Annual Conference 2009, 24 June 2009, Constitution Unit, Department of Political Science, UCL, 29-30 Tavistock Square, London.
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Significant research has been dedicated to the question what roles members of parliament play within an assembly and how they shape them individually. (e.g. Searing 1994, Patzelt 1995, 1997, Müller et al 2001). Findings show that some differences in parliamentarians’ roles and behaviour are tied to the party’s status in parliament. However, most of the analyses in this field (exception: Müller et al 2001) do not consider how these characteristics are linked with the overall appearance of particular parliamentary party groups (PPGs) and their political strategies. Research conducted on the Bavarian Parliament (Steinack 2007 a, b) shows significant differences in PPGs’ strategies that relate to the MPs’ socio-demographic background and the party groups’ history and discussion culture. Based on preliminary results of an ongoing research project, the paper outlines how structural differences between parliamentary party groups in the devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales shape strategies and political styles of their representatives. Interviews with members and clerks of the assemblies illustrate the findings.
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