Committee Assignment in Parliamentary Regimes. Evidence from Sweden, 1994-2018

03.12.2018 - 12:00 bis 13:30
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB B-Kolloquium
Dr. David Willumsen
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
Universität Innsbruck

Theories of committee assignment based on the US Congress are well-developed, but not sufficient for understanding the process in parliamentary regimes. This paper explores committee assignments in party-centred legislatures by focusing on the role of executives in the legislative process in parliamentary regimes. It does so by studying 'who goes where' in terms of committee assignment, analysing a dataset of the Swedish Riksdag for four terms (2002-2018). The dataset covers individual parliamentary voting records, electoral results, MPs’ education, employment, and links to associations, as well as parliamentary surveys covering 90%+ of MPs, which allow for detailed measurement of MPs’ preferences across a range of issues. Sweden’s powerful legislature, with experience of both minority and majority governments, offers a promising setting for developing and testing a theoretical framework of committee assignments in parliamentary regimes. We show, firstly, that committees are a microcosm of the floor in terms of both general ideology and committee-specific policy preferences. Secondly, arguing that MPs from government and opposition parties face very different incentives due to the key role played by the executive in parliamentary regimes, we show that MPs’ success in the committee assignment process is, like in the US Congress, driven by the pursuit of information, re-election, and partisan goals, but with significant differences between government and opposition party MPs.