I have been awarded a grant from the Research and Public Policy Partnership Scheme 2020 to support on-going collaboration between the ParlRulesData.org team, the House of Commons Library (HCL) and the Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS).
The ParlRulesData project digitilizes, analyzes and makes available historical, machine-readable records of parliamentary rules (“standing orders”, “rules of procedure”) through a dedicated data website, ParlRulesData.org (launched in July 2019). The HCL is an independent research and information unit, providing impartial information for UK Members of Parliament. The PDS is a specialized service supporting the House of Commons, the House of Lords and Parliament staff on their IT and digital needs.
Our collaboration project aims to bring significant benefits in terms of facilitating political transparency, public data access and democratic accountability. HC Standing Orders – the focus of our proposed partnership — govern the process by which parliament considers important elements of public policy – primary legislation, secondary legislation, and even treaties. Making good policy requires clarity and transparency about which parliamentary rules are applicable, how they should be complied with, and – in retrospect – whether they have been followed correctly.
Together with Tom Fleming and Niels Goet, I have written a post for the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog in which we introduce a machine‐readable dataset of House of Commons Standing Orders between 1811 and 2015. We demonstrate how our data can be used to measure procedural change, and thus substantially advance our understanding of legislative reforms. You can read the full post here.
Together with Thomas Fleming and Niels Goet, I have just launched ParlRulesData.org, an online database of parliamentary rules, containing the formal rules of procedure for various parliaments over time. The data currently covers the UK House of Commons (1811-2015) and the Irish Dáil (1926-2016).
Niels D. Goet, Thomas G. Fleming, Radoslaw Zubek (2019) ‘Procedural Change in the UK House of Commons, 1811-2015‘ Legislative Studies Quarterly. Online First.
Recent research has shown an increasing interest in the historical evolution of legislative institutions. The development of the United Kingdom Parliament has received particularly extensive attention. In this paper, we contribute to this liter- ature in three important ways. First, we introduce a complete, machine-readable dataset of all the Standing Orders of the UK House of Commons between 1811 and 2015. Second, we demonstrate how this dataset can be used to construct innovative measures of procedural change. Third, we illustrate a potential empir- ical application of the dataset, offering an exploratory test of several expectations drawn from recent theories of formal rule change in parliamentary democracies. We conclude that the new dataset has the potential to substantially advance our understanding of legislative reforms in the United Kingdom and beyond.
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.
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.
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.