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The History of Parliamentary Behavior

The History of Parliamentary Behavior

Edited by William O. Aydelotte
Copyright Date: 1977
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    The History of Parliamentary Behavior
    Book Description:

    In this volume thirteen American and European scholars show how a variety of mathematical tools may be used to attack major questions in the history of parliamentary behavior. Their essays treat key topics related to the varied but comparable circumstances of seven countries. These topics include: recruitment and career patterns; actions and decisions of legislators as revealed by their roll call votes; and hypotheses that might help explain legislative behavior.

    Historians have long been interested in the study of parliaments, but the recent application of quantitative techniques has made possible the effective use of data too voluminous to be comprehended by traditional methods. These techniques have also permitted a more precise and searching examination of certain controversial questions. These essays provide a new measure of and challenge to long accepted views regarding the operation of parliaments.

    Contributors:William O. Aydelotte, Aage R. Clausen, Gudmund Hernes, Sören Holmberg, Geoffrey Hosking, Anthony King, Donald R. Matthews, Mogens N. Pedersen, Douglas Price, Antoine Prost, Christian Rosenzveig, Peter H. Smith, and James A. Stimson.

    Originally published in 1977.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6711-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Series Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Charles Tilly
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-2)
    W. O. A.
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-27)

    Although parliaments or legislatures are central to representative, democratic government, and although they have been extensively studied by historians and political scientists, the ways in which they function are still only imperfectly understood. Uncertainty and disagreement persist with regard to such important matters as how members of a parliament are recruited, how they behave, and why they behave as they do. Recent research has called into question interpretations that once seemed plausible but that do not fit with new evidence that has been uncovered.

    Modern investigations have raised questions not only about how parliaments work but also about their effectiveness....

  6. 1 Careers and Committees in the American Congress: The Problem of Structural Change
    (pp. 28-62)

    Over the past two decades a great deal of research has been done on the post-World War II House and Senate. Obviously our understanding is still by no means complete, but we have come a long way. Capitol Hill is no longer a mysterious, virtually unexplored domain. We now have, if not a full-fledged paradigm, at least a more or less consistent set of conclusions about the structure and functioning of the post-New Deal House and Senate. What has remained until very recently mysterious and virtually unexplored is the time dimension: how have these systems changed or evolved, and how...

  7. 2 The Personal Circulation of a Legislature: The Danish Folketing, 1849–1968
    (pp. 63-101)

    This chapter presents an account of a political process which hitherto has not adequately been subjected to detailed, systematic analysis. This is the process by which legislatures are renewed: by which they recruit new members and part with old members.

    Using diachronic data relating to the Danish Folketing, I propose to describe the long-term changes in the recruitment and the derecruitment patterns of this legislature.¹ The description will be given by means of a simple conceptual scheme which makes it possible to depict the major changes that have taken place during the 120-year period since the introduction of a legislature...

  8. 3 Measurement of Attitude Changes among the Members of the French Chamber of Deputies, 1882–1884
    (pp. 102-135)

    Changes in political attitudes are a well-known phenomenon. It has often been said that in France a deputy begins his political career at the extreme left, to end on the right. A traditional joke, which has to be told with the particular intonation of the South to get its specific flavor, sums up the people’s feeling in this case. A father advises his son at the eve of an election: “Mon petit, quand tu choisis un député, prends-le bien rouge, parce qu’ensuite ils déteignent!” This could be translated: “Sonny, when choosing a deputy, do take the most red because he...

  9. 4 Radicals and Whigs in the British Liberal Party, 1906–1914
    (pp. 136-158)

    In the first decades of the twentieth century the Liberal Party lost its position as one of the two major parties in the British parliamentary system, and was replaced by the Labour Party as the main opponent of the Conservatives. This chapter is concerned with a small but possibly important aspect of the Liberal Party’s decline, namely the nature of the divisions within the party in the House of Commons during the Liberals’ last period of indisputable strength, between their election victory of 1906 and the outbreak of the First World War. The thesis of the chapter is that these...

  10. 5 Legislative Voting Analysis in Disciplined Multi-Party Systems: The Swedish Case
    (pp. 159-185)

    This chapter is addressed to researchers, primarily historians and political scientists, who are presently using or may be persuaded to use the voting records of legislative assemblies in their political and historical investigations.Our central concern is to examine the utility of a policy dimension analysis in a disciplined multi-party system. This concern springs, first, from an awareness that the different forms of dimensional analysis, such as cluster, factor, and Guttman scale analysis, have usually been applied only to legislatures in which inter-person, intra-party variation in voting behavior has been substantial; and, second, from our observation that dimensional analyses are...

  11. 6 The Making of the Mexican Constitution
    (pp. 186-224)

    The Mexican Constitution of 1917 has gained a widespread reputation as one of the most “progressive” charters in the Western world. Article 27 established the means for land distribution, Article 123 spelled out workers’ rights, other stipulations put strict limits on the power of the Church. According to most standard views, the Constitution represents the noblest ideals of the movement that overthrew Porfirio Díaz in 1910 and grew into one of the first mass-based revolutions of this century. But, notwithstanding frequent exegesis of the text, there has been little effort to explain the reasons for its social content.¹ Why such...

  12. 7 Constituency Influence on the British House of Commons, 1841–1847
    (pp. 225-246)

    How far and in what way constituencies exercise influence over those who represent them in a legislature is a crucial problem in the study of representative government. Yet our knowledge on this subject is still inadequate. It may seem obvious that legislators must follow the wishes of the individuals who elect them, and who can reject them at the next election. Representative government is sometimes described as a system designed to ensure that this will happen: that the decisions or actions of the representatives will, so far as possible, meet the expectations and demands of the electorate. This objective is...

  13. 8 Cue-Taking by Congressmen: A Model and a Computer Simulation
    (pp. 247-273)

    “Research on legislative behavior,” Wahlke and Eulau wrote ten years ago, “has been more sensitive to problems of technique than to problems of conceptual clarification. Yet, the most sophisticated technical developments are meaningless unless research findings are presented in a theoretically, or at least conceptually, viable framework which will give more thanad hocsignificance to the great variety of factors that constitute the legislative process.”¹

    A decade later Robert Peabody began his systematic review of recent research on Congress with a nearly identical observation. “Research on Congress,” he wrote, “has reached an important middle stage in its development. Over...

  14. 9 Interests and the Structure of Influence: Some Aspects of the Norwegian Storting in the 1960s
    (pp. 274-308)

    This chapter describes certain aspects of the functioning of the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, in the 1960s. The most important data for this study were collected through interviews with all members of the Storting in the early part of 1966, just after a general election, and then again in the spring of 1969, just before the next election. However, I also have drawn on data that can be found in public documents and historical records.

    The general analytical scheme within which the data will be interpreted is exchange theory, as it can be applied to the quantitative study of politics....

  15. List of Participants in the Conference at the University of Iowa, March 13–15, 1972
    (pp. 309-310)
  16. The Contributors
    (pp. 311-314)
  17. Index
    (pp. 315-321)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 322-322)