- About the Contributors
- Formal Models of Legislatures
- The Sociology of Legislators and Legislatures
- Typologies and Classifications
- Roll-Call Analysis and the Study of Legislatures
- Words as Data: Content Analysis in Legislative Studies
- Debate and Deliberation in Legislatures
- Interviews and Surveys in Legislative Research
- The Experimental Study of Legislative Behaviour
- Candidate Selection: Implications and Challenges for Legislative Behaviour
- The Effect of Electoral Institutions on Legislative Behaviour
- Gender and Legislatures
- Roles in Legislatures
- Legislative Careers
- Procedure and Rules in Legislatures
- The Politics of Bicameralism
- Political Parties and Legislators
- Party Discipline
- Legislative Party Switching
- Legislative Institutions and Coalition Government
- Institutional Foundations of Legislative Agenda-Setting
- Legislatures and Public Finance
- Legislatures, Lobbying, and Interest Groups
- Legislatures and Foreign Policy
- Common Agency? Legislatures and Bureaucracies
- Political Behaviour in the European Parliament
- Sub-National Legislatures
- The Study of Legislatures in Latin America
- Legislatures in Central and Eastern Europe
- Authoritarian Legislatures
- Reluctant Democrats and Their Legislatures
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
The sociology of legislators and legislatures is an interdisciplinary approach which focuses on the social interactions, groups, and institutions involved in the process of parliamentary representation. From this perspective, the institutions of representative democracies are the creations of the people running them. In other words, representatives are both the creations and creators of the institutional settings in which they act. The interactions of legislators both inside and outside legislatures are characterized by three types of social relations: the competition for votes, antagonistic cooperation, and principal–agent relations. This article examines the social relations within parliaments (insider–insider relations) and the relations between parliaments and society (insider–outsider relations). It considers how antagonistic cooperation is learned and reinforced in the process of legislative socialization, and how the social interests and preferences of the population are articulated and mediated in the legislature. It also discusses legislative recruitment and how it paradoxically promotes both equality and social closure.
Keywords: sociology, political sociology, legislators, legislatures, parliaments, political representation, social relations, antagonistic cooperation, principal–agent relations, legislative socialization, legislative recruitment, parliamentary representation
Heinrich Best is Professor of Sociology and Chair of Social Science Research Methods/Structural Analysis of Modern Societies at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.
Lars Vogel is Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology, Friedrich Schiller Jena University of Jena, Germany.
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