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Exploring Parliament

Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Louise Thompson

08 February 2018

ISBN: 9780198788430

416 pages

In Stock

Price: £37.99

Discover the work, impact and relevance of parliament in the twenty-first century.



The only text to combine academic and practitioner perspectives with evidence based case studies to reveal what really goes on behind the scenes of Parliament.

  • Draws on the perspectives of academics and parliamentary practitioners, to give students an authentic insight into the workings of Parliament
  • Provides a series of evidence-based case studies so that students can fully understand the reality of Parliament in practice
  • Explores the relationships between the different structures, parliamentarians and practitioners within Parliament on both a formal and an informal level, to enable student to understand the essential processes and actors

About the Author(s)

Cristina Leston-Bandeira, Professor of Politics, University of Leeds, and Louise Thompson, Lecturer In British Politics, University of Surrey

Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira is a Professor of Politics at the University of Leeds. She has worked on parliaments for over 20 years and was until recently Co-Convenor of the Political Studies Association specialist group on Parliaments and Legislatures. She is co-editor of Parliamentary Affairs and a Constitution Unit Fellow. Professor Leston-Bandeira has led research grants funded by the ESRC, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, which have analysed public engagement with parliament. She is currently developing research on the new UK Parliament's e-Petitions system. She regularly gives evidence to parliaments in the area of public engagement, having been a Commissioner of the Digital Democracy Commission set up by the Speaker of the House of Commons. She is also the recipient of numerous awards recognising the quality and innovation of her teaching.

Dr Louise Thompson is Lecturer in British Politics at the University of Surrey. She is the Co-Convenor of the Political Studies Association specialist group on Parliaments and Legislatures and an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Legislative Studies. Dr Thompson is an expert in legislative scrutiny and the author of Making British Law: Committees in Action (Palgrave Macmillan 2015). She has recently completed a British Academy/Leverhulme funded project on public engagement with legislation. Dr Thompson maintains a strong interest in the teaching of parliamentary studies and British Politics and is the author of several publications (with Cristina Leston-Bandeira) aimed at helping students to understand Parliament. These have been disseminated by the UK Parliament, the Political Studies Association and the Higher Education Academy. She is currently the Managing Editor of the Political Studies Association Blog.

Table of Contents

    Part I: The Organisation of Parliament
    1:Introduction, Cristina Leston-Bandeira, Paul Evans, and Louise Thompson
    2:The Political Organisation of Parliament, Philip Norton
    3:The Administrative Organisation and Governance of Parliament, Sarah Petit and Ben Yong
    4:Supporting Members, Marc Geddes and Jessica Mulley
    5:The Significance of Rituals in Parliament, Emma Crewe and Paul Evans
    6:Design and Space in Parliament, Matthew Flinders, Tom Healey, and Leanne-Marie McCarthy-Cotter
    Part II: Law Making
    7:The Legislative Cycle, Matt Korris, Glenn McKee, and Liam Laurence Smyth
    8:Scrutinising a Government Bill, Daniel Gover and Meg Russell
    9:Committee Scrutiny, Tony McNulty and Louise Thompson
    10:EU legislation, Ed Beale, Libby Kurien, and Eve Samson
    11:Campaigning to Change Law and Policy, Stacey Frier and Paul Thomas
    12:Private Members Bills, Robert Hazell and Fergus Reid
    13:Small Parties and Law-Making, Margaret Arnott and Richard Kelly
    Part III: Scrutiny and Accountability
    14:Accountability in Parliament, Mark Bennister and Phil Larkin
    15:Evidence from outside, Andrew Defty and Hannah White
    16:Select Committees since the Wright Reforms, Alexandra Kelso
    17:Questioning the Government, Stephen Bates, Peter Kerr, and Ruxandra Serban
    18:The Role of the Backbench MP, Mark Shephard and Jack Simson Caird
    19:Scrutiny by the House of Lords, Patrick Milner
    20:Media Scrutiny of Parliament, Mark D'Arcy
    Part IV: Representation
    21:The Rise of the Professional Politician, Peter Allen and Philip Cowley
    22:Women in Parliament, Rosie Campbell, Sarah Childs, and Elizabeth Hunt
    23:Representation in the Lords, Pete Dorey and Matt Purvis
    24:Whips and Rebels, Mark Stuart
    25:MPs and their Constituencies, David Judge and Rebecca Partos
    26:Campaigning for your constituency, Oonagh Gay
    Part V: Challenges and Reform
    27:Parliament and Devolution, Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Mark Sandford
    28:Modernising Parliament, Martyn Atkins and Mark Goodwin
    29:Public Engagement, Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Aileen Walker
    30:Petitions, Thomas Caygill and Anne-Marie Griffiths
    31:Freedom of Information, Ben Worthy
    32:The Future of Parliamentary Politics, David Judge, Cristina Leston-Bandeira, and Louise Thompson

Additional Resources

The textbook is accompanied by online resources including web links to reliable sources of further information.