Settling it on the multi-level parliamentary field? A fields approach to interparliamentary cooperation in foreign and security policy

Anna Herranz-Surralles*

*Corresponding author for this work

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4 Citations (Web of Science)


Interparliamentary cooperation in EU foreign and security policy, once the paradigmatic example of competitive relations between parliamentary levels, has recently evolved towards more cooperative dynamics. This evolution provides an interesting context in which to examine the conditions that facilitate or hinder cooperation in the EU multi-level parliamentary field. This article takes inspiration from Fligstein and McAdam's sociological theory of fields, arguing that certain field conditions (power, preferences, field environment, and social skill) can influence patterns of cooperation in a parliamentary field. The theoretical argument is assessed using two empirical cases: institutionalised cooperation in the Interparliamentary Conference on foreign policy, security and defence; and policy-specific cooperation during negotiations over the controversial European Defence Fund. The findings indicate that a relative 'settlement' of the parliamentary field does not necessarily translate into mutually reinforcing parliamentarism. On the contrary, certain properties in the field continue to impair the quality of democratic oversight in this burgeoning domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-285
Number of pages24
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2022


  • Multi-level parliamentary field
  • interparliamentary cooperation
  • foreign and security policy
  • theory of fields
  • European Defence Fund

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