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Abstract

This is a report on the 15th Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians that took place over the weekend of 30–31 July 2022 in Wroxton, Oxfordshire, in the United Kingdom. Scores of scholars, practitioners, and Members of Parliament (mp s) from around the world gathered once again at the event’s remarkable venue, the Wroxton Abbey, for a two-day practical exchange on issues around parliamentary development and reforms. This time, the Workshop focussed on the state-of-play of and new concepts for strengthening public engagement in the democratic process. Moreover, the greater event constitutes a forum of international professional exchange between parliamentary practitioners and scholars and the sharing of best-practice, with the overall goal of promoting positive change and improvements to the efficiency, transparency, representation and therefore legitimacy of parliaments. The report captures the highlights, lessons-learned, and expectations from a memorable event that set the stage for further research and policy activities.

In: International Journal of Parliamentary Studies

Abstract

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced many parliaments to ensure business continuity through the digitalisation of its activities. That was the case of the European Parliament, which held its first plenary session with remote electronic participation on 26 March 2020 and continued to work remotely until March 2022. During those two years, Parliament’s Rules of Procedure were changed, new videoconferencing tools and remote voting solutions were developed and parliamentary procedures were adapted to the new working methods. The digitalisation of parliamentary proceedings allowed the European Parliament to continue working during the crisis and can be praised for that. However, remote electronic participation is often criticised for its impact on parliamentary procedures and the way parliaments exercise their core functions. This paper proposes to look into the European Parliament’s experience during the pandemic in order to better assess the positive aspects and drawbacks of introducing remote working methods in legislatures.

In: International Journal of Parliamentary Studies

Abstract

At a time when legislative powers are being undermined by strengthened executives, oversight has become a core function of parliaments throughout the democratic world. In the European Parliament (ep), whose legislative role has been enhanced throughout the integration process, a significant proportion of the activities of its members is devoted to their broad ‘functions of political control’ on the EU’s executive institutions (art. 14 teu). The ways in which Members of the European Parliament (meps) exercise these functions and how the EU political system is impacted in turn remains, however, an under-researched topic. Focusing specifically on parliamentary questions, this article investigates the day-to-day interactions between the ep and one major EU institution, namely the European Central Bank (ecb). It seeks to establish what motivates meps questions concerning monetary and financial policies. Relying on a new dataset, we find evidence that meps’ questions to the ecb are subject to both strategic and partisan considerations.

In: International Journal of Parliamentary Studies

Abstract

The Faculty of Public Governance and International Studies of Ludovika – University of Public Service Budapest (UPS) hosted the first Global Conference on Parliamentary Studies in cooperation with the International Journal of Parliamentary Studies on 12-13 May 2022. The conference aimed to break down the clear barriers between political science and law, science and practice, national and international approaches. More than 40 papers by speakers from 15 countries and 4 continents were presented. This included parliaments in the global south and in hybrid regimes. In this article we briefly summarises the main takeaway messages from the conference.

In: International Journal of Parliamentary Studies
Author:

Abstract

Scholarly debate concerning the judicial review of parliamentary proceedings has mainly focused on the constitutional principles in the light of which such a review should be excluded/grounded/limited. However, the equilibrium point between these principles remains elusive. This essay does not attempt to resolve this issue, since appropriate solutions can differ greatly from one legal order to another. Moreover, this being a matter of balance, a solution cannot be given once and for all, even domestically.

Instead, this essay aims to enrich existing studies, suggesting a methodology for viewing (and critically analysing) the equilibrium point in a domestic setting. First, however, supranational/international ‘constitutional’ principles should also be considered. Some examples of case-law (mainly concerning Italy) will be given. Secondly, such a balance should be viewed within the theoretical framework of the specific system of constitutional justice established domestically (i.e. types of standards, acts to be reviewed, jurisdictional disputes, subjects that can initiate disputes, violations of the Constitution). The validity of this second approach is then proved as it relates to Italy.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Parliamentary Studies
Author:

Abstract

Expo ’67 in Montreal and Expo ’74 in Spokane took strikingly different stances regarding human-nature relations. The title of the first was “Man and His World.” Here, the Soviet pavilion exhibited the Krasnoyarsk Dam to showcase its conquest of nature. The exploitation of “idle” Siberian resources, like hydro-energy, was bound to fulfill the promise to “catch and overtake” the United States. Yet, the global environmental awakening of the 1960s added a “green race” to existing Cold War races and propelled environmental cooperation. Spokane’s Expo became the first environmental world's fair with the motto “Progress without Pollution.” Now, the ussr exhibited the Krasnoyarsk Dam as an inseparable part of the landscape and the new “green” socialist settlements to demonstrate the industry’s harmony with nature. An envoy for Soviet environmentalism, the display was responsive both to raising global concerns and to the detrimental environmental consequences of industrialization on the ground in Siberia.

In: Diplomatica
Free access
In: Diplomatica

Abstract

Analyzing several documentary films and other sources through the lens of gender and feminist theory, this article explores the role of hunting and nature in Soviet diplomatic relationships. The article views diplomacy as a masculine space in which diplomatic negotiations relied on successful displays of toughness and the exhibition of prowess and agility. These skills were best demonstrated not in the official corridors of power but in settings imbued with symbolic meanings associated with masculinity, such as nature. The latter often served as a homosocial space where power was displayed and reconstituted through ritualistic performances of heroic masculinity. Such rituals as hunting sought to accomplish several goals. They promoted the male bonding that formed the basis of a preferred personal style of diplomacy and allowed Soviet apparatchiks to display marksmanship skills and a level of physical prowess that would present them to their foreign counterparts as potent leaders and desired allies. More importantly, as with other performative rituals of masculinity, Soviet diplomatic hunts produced and reproduced masculinity – and with it, power – and served strategically to assert or challenge international hierarchies, shape new and reaffirm faltering alliances, and demonstrate the agility and potency of the Soviet system to visiting state leaders.

In: Diplomatica

Abstract

The term “water diplomacy” has gained currency among policy makers and academics. It reflects an awareness that the use, management, and protection of transboundary water resources is intrinsically political and often embedded in complex political settings. Based on a review of academic and policy documents, we analyze the variety of understandings and common patterns in the definition of water diplomacy. We also analyze tools, tracks, and levels through which and at which water diplomacy is conducted or analyzed. With our own definition of water diplomacy as deliberative political processes and practices of preventing, mitigating, and resolving disputes over transboundary water resources and developing joint water governance arrangements by applying foreign policy means which are embedded in bi- and/or multilateral relations beyond the water sector and taking place at different tracks and scales, we aim to advance the discourse on water diplomacy both in the academic and policy realms.

Open Access
In: Diplomatica