Together with Tom Fleming, I have written a post for OXPOL, the Oxford University Politics Blog, in which we argue that while the Brexit process may have challenged the UK government’s ability to control parliament, it was pushing at an open door. Recent events can thus be understood as an acceleration of pre-existing trends in Britain’s political institutions and political parties. You can read the full post here.
I have written a short piece for an online weekly, Kultura Liberalna, showing that, since the last Polish elections in 2015, the largest opposition party, the Civic Platform, has supported the PiS-led majority on almost 60% of all final passage votes. This evidence places a question mark over the claim that the PO provides an aggressive opposition to the PiS government. You can read the full article here (in Polish) and the raw data is available here.
Heike Klüver, Radoslaw Zubek ‘Minority Governments and Legislative Reliability: Evidence from Denmark and Sweden’ Party Politics. Online First. 15 March 2017.
When are minority cabinets effective? In this article, we study the extent to which minority cabinets demonstrate legislative reliability, i.e. introduce to parliament the bills they have announced in their legislative agendas. We test hypotheses drawn from two theories of minority government effectiveness: the positional agenda power theory which emphasizes the central location of the minority cabinet in the policy space; and the ideological proximity theory which stresses the importance of the ideological closeness of opposition parties to the government. In an analysis of over 1,600 bills announced by Danish and Swedish minority cabinets in 19 legislative agendas published between 1998 and 2012, we find more support, overall, for the ideological proximity than for the positional agenda power model.
David Doyle and I are seeking to recruit a postdoctoral Research Associate to work on computational coding of legislative texts as part of our team on the project ‘Measuring Government Policy with Text Analysis’, a 12-month project funded by the John Fell OUP Fund. More details about this position can be found here.
I have been awarded – jointly with David Doyle – a John Fell OUP Research Fund for a research project entitled ‘Measuring Government Policy with Text Analysis’. The project will run in 2016-2017.
Is government policy enhancing business activity or constraining it? Are government regulations becoming more or less business friendly? Is government policy more favourable to some sectors than others? These and similar questions are ones that citizens and businesses ask every day, but social scientists have only limited tools for measuring governments’ business policies, except through broad-brush surveys of regulatory environments. Against this backdrop, we propose to apply the recent advances in computational linguistics to develop a novel machine text analysis to produce detailed estimates of government policy across time and policy fields.
Radoslaw Zubek, Coalition Government and Committee Power (West European Politics, 38(5) 2015). In this paper, I examine the conditions under which parliamentary majorities reform legislative rules to expand or reduce committee power. I expect that, ceteris paribus, the higher the conflict inside the governing coalition, the higher the probability that parties in government adopt reforms expanding committee power and the lower the chance that they implement changes reducing such power. I test these expectations using original new data on the reforms of committee agenda powers undertaken in eight European states within 20 years from democratic transition. I find some evidence to support the endogeneity of committee power to the ideological heterogeneity of parliamentary government.
The special issue of West European Politics on ‘Explaining Legislative Organization in European Democracies’ – which I am guest-editing – has now been published. Questions regarding the origin and evolution of legislative institutions are at the heart of comparative legislative studies. Much research in this area focuses on the US Congress; in contrast, comparative studies of European democracies have been more limited. Addressing this imbalance, this special issue showcases newly emerging research on legislative organization in Europe. In doing so, it brings together contributions that explore the rationales behind the emergence of, and variation in, national European voting practices, investiture rules, minority rights, committee power, agenda control, debating rules, and individual MPs’ rights.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Parliamentary Voting Procedures in Comparison
Simon Hug, Simone Wegmann and Reto Wüest
Government Selection and Executive Powers: Constitutional Design in Parliamentary Democracies
José Antonio Cheibub, Shane Martin and Bjørn Erik Rasch
Explaining Reforms of Parliamentary Minority Rights: A Theoretical Framework with Case Study Application
Ulrich Sieberer and Wolfgang C. Müller
Coalition Government and Committee Power
Legislative Committees as Uncertainty Reduction Devices in Multiparty Parliamentary Democracies
Luigi Curini and Francesco Zucchini