The influence of party identities on opposition strategies in parliament. Policy making on a territorial level.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Kent
Department Name: Kent Law School


The  fellowship explored the connection between a party group's socio-cultural background and the way its members interact in parliament. In doing so, it focused particularly on opposition party groups. Parliamentary opposition parties play a central role in liberal democracy. They criticise and scrutinise governmental decisions and offer alternative policies and personnel to voters. The project builds upon research on the Bavarian state Parliament that shows how opposition parliamentary party groups influence the majority's policy and links their different strategies to party-specific socio-cultural and structural causes.

The work aimed to advance scholarship on parliamentary opposition in liberal democracies by extending the scope of the work to the British context. The research  challenged established opposition theories which focus on the political system as such but do not distinguish between individual cultures of political parties within one system. Some further explorative research in the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament examined whether the specific structure of those assemblies, in comparison to the Westminster model, have an impact on the parliamentary party groups' understanding and behaviour in parliament. In particular, it aimed to explore whether the way those assemblies are set up will facilitate different opposition strategies which in the long term might even lead to the development of different types of politicians.



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