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Political leadership in Parliament: the role of select committee chairs in the UK House of Commons

Political leadership in Parliament: the role of select committee chairs in the UK House of Commons
Political leadership in Parliament: the role of select committee chairs in the UK House of Commons
Concepts of political leadership have been applied sparingly to parliaments, and not at all to the study of House of Commons select committees in the UK Parliament, where analysis has largely focused on their institutional capacity to scrutinise government and hold it to account. Yet examining these committees through a political leadership lens illuminates the complex role of committee chairs, a role which was significantly reshaped in 2010 with a shift to election of chairs by the whole House. This article analyses select committee chairs through the lens of political leadership, and draws on a series of interviews with chairs in order to delineate the nature of the political leadership they perform. It argues that, as chairs are now increasingly important parliamentary and policy actors, our understanding of them is significantly advanced by conceptualising their role as one of parliamentary political leadership, and that this in turn enriches our analytical toolkit when it comes to the study of parliaments.
house of commons select committees, political leadership, select committee chairs, uk parliament
2183-2463
115-126
Kelso, Alexandra
e9f198bb-27f8-412a-9360-aff01d578096
Kelso, Alexandra
e9f198bb-27f8-412a-9360-aff01d578096

Kelso, Alexandra (2016) Political leadership in Parliament: the role of select committee chairs in the UK House of Commons. [in special issue: New Approaches to Political Leadership] Politics and Governance, 4 (2), 115-126. (doi:10.17645/pag.v4i2.573).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Concepts of political leadership have been applied sparingly to parliaments, and not at all to the study of House of Commons select committees in the UK Parliament, where analysis has largely focused on their institutional capacity to scrutinise government and hold it to account. Yet examining these committees through a political leadership lens illuminates the complex role of committee chairs, a role which was significantly reshaped in 2010 with a shift to election of chairs by the whole House. This article analyses select committee chairs through the lens of political leadership, and draws on a series of interviews with chairs in order to delineate the nature of the political leadership they perform. It argues that, as chairs are now increasingly important parliamentary and policy actors, our understanding of them is significantly advanced by conceptualising their role as one of parliamentary political leadership, and that this in turn enriches our analytical toolkit when it comes to the study of parliaments.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 April 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 June 2016
Keywords: house of commons select committees, political leadership, select committee chairs, uk parliament
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 393346
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/393346
ISSN: 2183-2463
PURE UUID: be7b4371-da60-46b0-9001-44766b4f787a

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Date deposited: 25 Apr 2016 13:30
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 06:01

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Author: Alexandra Kelso

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