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Title: Beyond Committees: Parliamentary Oversight and Coalition Government in Britain
Authors: Martin, Shane
Whitaker, Richard
First Published: 2019
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Citation: West European Politics, 2019, In Press
Abstract: A legislature’s ability to engage in oversight of the executive is believed to derive largely from its committee system. For example, powerful parliamentary committees are considered a necessary condition for the legislature to help police policy compromises between parties in multiparty government. But can other parliamentary instruments perform this role? This paper suggests parliamentary questions as an alternative parliamentary vehicle for coalition parties to monitor their partners. Questions force ministers to reveal information concerning their legislative and extra-legislative activities, providing coalition members unique insights into their partners behaviour. To test our argument, we build and analyse a new dataset of parliamentary questions in the British House of Commons covering the 2010-15 coalition. As expected, government MPs ask more questions as the divisiveness of a policy area increases. Legislatures conventionally considered weak due to the lack of strong committees may nevertheless play an important oversight role through other parliamentary devices, including helping to police the implementation of coalition agreements.
ISSN: 0140-2382
Links: TBA
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2019, Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Politics and International Relations

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