Mind the gap: political analysis, public expectations and the parliamentary decline thesis

Flinders, Matthew and Kelso, Alexandra (2011) Mind the gap: political analysis, public expectations and the parliamentary decline thesis. British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 13, (2), 249-268. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-856X.2010.00434.x).


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The parliamentary decline thesis formed the dominant theory and narrative of legislative behaviour and capacity during the 20th century. And yet in analytical terms the thesis provides a relatively blunt instrument for dissecting complex socio-political relationships. The bluntness of this tool has not been remedied by the lazy thinking and unconscious theorising that has too often dominated research in this field. The central argument of this article is that the dominant public, media and academic perception of an eviscerated and sidelined parliament provides a misleading caricature of a more complex institution. Moreover the constant promotion and reinforcement of this caricature by scholars arguably perpetuates and fuels public disengagement and disillusionment with politics.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1467-856X.2010.00434.x
ISSNs: 1369-1481 (print)
1467-856X (electronic)
Keywords: gap analysis, parliamentary decline, legislative studies, professional responsibilities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations
ePrint ID: 182987
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
May 2011Published
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2011 13:00
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:36
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/182987

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