research on parliaments

Wegmann, Simone and Aurélien Evequoz. “Legislative Functions in Newly Democratised Countries: The Use of Parliamentary Questions in Kenya and Zambia”

A large literature exists examining the functions of legislatures and the behaviour of MPs in established democracies. But, little eorts have been made to observe how MPs behave in new democratic assemblies. This article seeks to address this shortcoming through an exploration of the use of parliamentary questions in two new democracies: Kenya and Zambia. Analysing an innovative dataset we oer one of the few attempts to directly measure legislative behaviour in new democracies. We examine how the factors found in the literature on parliamentary questions in liberal democracies react to this shift of context and to what degree legislatures in these countries full their core functions. Results show that opposition MPs are not necessarily among the most active but that electoral incentives such as the margin by which MPs have won their seat or the number of voters they represent explain the use and content of parliamentary questions.

Published article:
Forthcoming in the Journal of Legislative Studies

Hug, Simon, Simone Wegmann and Reto Wüest. “Parliamentary Voting Procedures in Comparison”.

Increasingly, scholars of legislative politics propose comparative analyses of parliamentary voting behavior across different countries and parliaments. Yet parliamentary voting procedures differ dramatically across parliamentary chambers and ignoring these differences may, in the extreme, lead to meaningless comparisons. In this paper we present a first glimpse at a comprehensive data collection effort covering more than 250 parliamentary chambers in 176 countries. Focusing on European legislatures we find some notable differences as compared to previous studies on parliamentary voting procedures. We propose to analyze what explains the presence and use of various voting procedures and find that electoral institutions play a non-negligeable role.

Published article:
Hug, Simon, Simone Wegmann and Reto Wüest. 2015. Parliamentary Voting Procedures in Comparison. West European Politics 38(5): 940-968. Article