Parliamentary Rules and Institutional Design

Research question/goal: 

The project will systematically map and explain changes in parliamentary rules in 27 European countries over the post-war period. Theoretically, it builds on rational choice institutionalist models of institutions as equilibria. Empirically, the project will identify and code all changes in parliamentary rules with regard to their extent, content, and effects on political competition. This data is used to test competing theories of institutional change. In addition, the project creates a unique time-specific database of parliamentary standing orders in European democracies that will be useful for various strands of research in comparative legislative studies.

Current stage: 

Over the last year, the project focused on two main tasks. First, we collected and documented parliamentary rules for all democratic post-war years in 27 European countries. Second, we developed an extensive coding scheme for classifying the content of parliamentary rules. The scheme was applied successfully in a conference paper offering the first comprehensive analysis of all changes to the parliamentary rules in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland since 1945 (Ulrich Sieberer, Wolfgang C. Müller, and Maiko Heller, "Reforming the Rules of the Parliamentary Game: Measuring and Explaining Changes in Parliamentary Rules in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, 1945-2010". Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Section Comparative Politics of the DVPW, Duisburg, September 20-22, 2010). Due to Ulrich Sieberer's move to the University of Konstanz, the project was terminated at the MZES in early 2011.

Fact sheet

2008 to 2011
continued elsewhere
Data Sources: 
parliamentary rules



Sieberer, Ulrich (2010): Parlamente als Wahlorgane. Parlamentarische Wahlbefugnisse und ihre Nutzung in 25 europäischen Demokratien. Baden-Baden: Nomos. [Studien zum Parlamentarismus; 14] more