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‘Servants of the People’ or ‘Masters of the Government’? Explaining Parliamentary Behaviour in EU Affairs

Auel, Katrin (2009) ‘Servants of the People’ or ‘Masters of the Government’? Explaining Parliamentary Behaviour in EU Affairs. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    Comparative studies using a rational choice approach have successfully explained variation in the degree of institutional parliamentary strength in EU affairs, but they perform less well with regard to explaining both actual parliamentary behaviour and variation thereof. The paper therefore develops an explanation for parliamentary behaviour based on agency theory and the model of delegation. The aim is to enrich rational choice approaches, which have so far focused mainly on the preference of re-election and have therefore - at least implicitly - conceptualised parliamentarians as agents of their voters or parties. In parliamentary systems, however, MPs are not only agents of the voters (or parties), but also principals of the government. The paper is based on Strøm’s rational choice institutionalist conception of parliamentary roles as ‘routines, driven by reasons (preferences), and constrained by rules’ (Strøm 1997: 158), but uses Merton’s concept of ‘role-sets’ (Merton 1957) to analyse parliamentary agent- and principal-relationships as different elements of the role-set ‘MP’ associated with specific routines driven by specific preferences.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2009 (11th), April 23-25, 2009
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 May 2012 16:49
    Number of Pages: 33
    Last Modified: 12 May 2012 16:49

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