Alexandra Kelso

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations


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Parliamentary procedure is not only for anoraks: the fact that government itself seeks to adapt the rules of the parliamentary game more often than it seeks to flaunt them is indicative of their centrality to understanding what parliament is about and the nature of its relationship to the executive to which it plays host. The Westminster Model provides one of the most useful ways to contextualize the study of parliament. This model helps in the understanding on how power is legitimized. The fundamental role of parliament is as an institution of legitimation. One of the most significant parliamentary debates concerns the nature and meaning of Westminster's scrutiny of the executive. The idea of parliamentary sovereignty has always been coloured by the understanding of the practice of executive sovereignty, but the whole notion of sovereignty is being even more deeply questioned at the start of the twenty-first century.

Keywords: parliament; legitimation; Westminster Model; power; democracy; government; executive sovereignty

Article.  8390 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics ; Political Institutions

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