Parliamentary Committees are often seen as the central place where policy is made in modern democracies. They do exist in almost all parliaments today, in democratic and non-democratic systems, in parliamentary and presidential democracies. Political science has provided very useful comparative studies on the formal settings of committees in Western democracies, but some of them need to be updated after a few decades have passed.

Apr 2021

However, what exactly is going on inside committees has not been studied very much, not the least because committees traditionally have held their sessions closed to the public in many parliaments and thus data access has been difficult.
Renowned country experts, among them several members of the Research Committee of  Legislative Specialists (RCLS), take a close look at what goes on in committees and how it matters for policy making.

This edited volume provides a comparative examination on the role of parliamentary committees of various political systems through a detailed and thick description of country cases based on a common research framework. Bringing together formal and informal aspects, rules and practices shows that committees are not a paradise of policy making. They have great relevance nonetheless: as crystallization points in the policy networks, as drivers for division of labor and for socialization and the integration of MPs.

The book will be published in September 2021 and is available for pre-order here.