- 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
This chapter examines how legislators may serve multiple principals through their party affiliation. It looks at the forms and activities of legislative parties, focusing on established democracies, and the functions that they perform as vehicles of electoral delegation and accountability. The discussion begins by presenting a brief morphology of legislative parties, with particular reference to central players within and around legislative parties in their relationship with individual legislators. Using a principal–agent framework, it considers the complexity of the competing agency relationships of which legislators are often part. It then explores why political parties exist at all, and why they have become such durable features of legislatures and representative democracies. It also describes the link between legislative parties and legislative committees. Finally, it analyzes whether and how political parties influence legislative outputs.
Thomas Saalfeld is Professor of Political Science at the University of Bamberg and the founding Director of the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences.
Kaare W. Strøm is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.
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