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Parliaments, Political Parties & Policy Making

Course Code: PUBLG057

Course Tutor: Dr Meg Russell (Department of Political Science)

Assessment: One 1,000 word exercise (30%) + One 2,000 word essay (70%)

Credit Value: 15

About this course
This course explores the role and functions of parliaments, and the parties that dominate them, in the modern state.

Taking a comparative approach, illustrated with numerous case studies of policy making in different countries, it asks which factors matter to the role of parliaments today.

Does it, for example, matter that just 15% of the world's legislators are women? Why do some parliaments have two chambers rather than one, and what difference does that make? What influence does party discipline have on the functioning of modern parliaments, and how do parties use the parliamentary arena to influence the policy process? How do parties choose the people who make up the majority of parliaments' members? Does the dominance of parties in the parliamentary process exclude citizens? What internal and external factors influence parliaments' strength with respect to their core functions of scrutiny, law making and representation? By taking a joint focus on parliaments and political parties the course gives an insight into some of the most important functions of both, and how these influence public policy.

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School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4969,

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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Page last modified on 08 aug 13 16:16

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