Book

Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

Thomas Winzen

Published in print January 2017 | ISBN: 9780198793397
Published online February 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191835223 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198793397.001.0001
Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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This book provides a comprehensive account of national parliaments’ adaptation to European integration. Advancing an explanation based on political parties’ constitutional preferences, it investigates the nature and variation of parliamentary rights in European Union affairs across countries and levels of governance. In some member states, parliaments have traditionally been strong and parties hold intergovernmental visions of European integration. In these countries, strong parliamentary rights emerge in the context of parties’ efforts to realize their preferred constitutional design for the European polity. Parliamentary rights remain weakly developed where federally oriented parties prevail, and where parliaments have long been marginal arenas in domestic politics. Moreover, divergent constitutional preferences underlie inter-parliamentary disagreement on national parliaments’ collective rights at the European level. Constitutional preferences are key to understanding why a ‘Senate’ of national parliaments never enjoyed support and why the alternatives subsequently put into place have stayed clear of committing national parliaments to any common policies. This study calls into question existing explanations that focus on strategic partisan incentives arising from minority and coalition government. It, furthermore, rejects the exclusive attribution of parliamentary ‘deficits’ to the structural constraints created by European integration and, instead, restores a sense of accountability for parliamentary rights to political parties and their ideas for the European Union’s constitutional design.

Keywords: European integration; national parliaments; political parties; constitutional preferences; parliamentary rights; adaptation; constitutional design; collective rights

Book.  256 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics ; European Union

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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The Democratic Deficit and Parliamentary Adaptation to Integration in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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Constitutional Preferences and National Parliamentary Reform in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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Analysing Domestic Adaptation to European Integration Empirically in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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Constitutional Preferences in Dutch Parliamentary Reform Debates, 1985–2010 in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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The Lack of a Strong ‘Direct’ Parliamentary Role in EU Policy-Making in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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Parliamentary Reactions to Reforms of Economic and Monetary Union in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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Potentials and Pitfalls of Building Parliament Rights on Constitutional Preferences in Constitutional Preferences and Parliamentary Reform

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