In liberal democracies, parliaments are generally perceived as the epitome of majoritarian politics. In the academic literature, as in the public debate, the focus is inevitably on the party political dimension of their work: the adoption of legislation or annual budgets, the election and scrutiny of the executive and their important role in the political system as a forum for debate on key issues. The study of parliaments is usually about either the work of individual members of parliament (MPs) or that of groups of parliamentarians, be it the factions of political parties or the broader concepts of a governing majority and the opposition, but parliaments are more than the collective sum of their elected members. In order to function as institutions and exercise their functions, they also rely on administrative structures and appointed officials. In fact, in all parliaments the non-elected staff probably significantly outnumber the elected members.
|Title of host publication||Palgrave Handbook on National Parliaments in the European Union|
|Editors||C. Hefftler, C. Neuhold, O. Rozenberg, J. Smith|
|Place of Publication||Basingstoke|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2015|