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The politics of parliamentary restoration and renewal: Decisions, discretion, democracy

The politics of parliamentary restoration and renewal: Decisions, discretion, democracy
The politics of parliamentary restoration and renewal: Decisions, discretion, democracy

An extensive literature on aversive constitutionalism and elite blockages outlines the manner in which embedded political elites will generally reject or dilute reform agendas that threaten their privileged position within a constitutional configuration. It is for exactly this reason that the same seam of scholarship frequently highlights the role of crises in terms of providing a 'window of opportunity' through which a significant or fundamental recalibration of a political system may be achieved. 'The Palace of Westminster' the Joint Committee on Restoration and Renewal (R&R) concluded in September 2016 'faces an impending crisis which we cannot possibly ignore'. Their recommendation was that the Palace be completely vacated for five to eight years so that a multibillion-pound programme of rebuilding work can be undertaken. This article offers the first research-based analysis of the 'Scoping & Planning' stage (2012-2016) and reveals the 'hidden politics' of R&R in the sense of how it threatens both the British Political Tradition and the position of the two main parties. This explains the nature of the very closed and secretive decision-making processes that have characterised this stage and why a number of formative decision-making points that have been deployed to frame and restrict the reform parameters.

Decision-making, Democracy, Design, Palace of Westminster, Parliament, Restoration
0031-2290
144-168
Flinders, Matthew
d4982871-f267-4c51-a12b-1e0340ed4465
Cotter, Leanne Marie
cba39d5b-3626-4269-8e63-caa6b9f92a18
Kelso, Alix
e9f198bb-27f8-412a-9360-aff01d578096
Meakin, Alex
cddda22d-ca9d-4cfd-83dc-4e9b81a96cd3
Flinders, Matthew
d4982871-f267-4c51-a12b-1e0340ed4465
Cotter, Leanne Marie
cba39d5b-3626-4269-8e63-caa6b9f92a18
Kelso, Alix
e9f198bb-27f8-412a-9360-aff01d578096
Meakin, Alex
cddda22d-ca9d-4cfd-83dc-4e9b81a96cd3

Flinders, Matthew, Cotter, Leanne Marie, Kelso, Alix and Meakin, Alex (2018) The politics of parliamentary restoration and renewal: Decisions, discretion, democracy Parliamentary Affairs, 71, (1), pp. 144-168. (doi:10.1093/pa/gsx012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

An extensive literature on aversive constitutionalism and elite blockages outlines the manner in which embedded political elites will generally reject or dilute reform agendas that threaten their privileged position within a constitutional configuration. It is for exactly this reason that the same seam of scholarship frequently highlights the role of crises in terms of providing a 'window of opportunity' through which a significant or fundamental recalibration of a political system may be achieved. 'The Palace of Westminster' the Joint Committee on Restoration and Renewal (R&R) concluded in September 2016 'faces an impending crisis which we cannot possibly ignore'. Their recommendation was that the Palace be completely vacated for five to eight years so that a multibillion-pound programme of rebuilding work can be undertaken. This article offers the first research-based analysis of the 'Scoping & Planning' stage (2012-2016) and reveals the 'hidden politics' of R&R in the sense of how it threatens both the British Political Tradition and the position of the two main parties. This explains the nature of the very closed and secretive decision-making processes that have characterised this stage and why a number of formative decision-making points that have been deployed to frame and restrict the reform parameters.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 April 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 June 2017
Published date: 1 January 2018
Keywords: Decision-making, Democracy, Design, Palace of Westminster, Parliament, Restoration

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417485
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417485
ISSN: 0031-2290
PURE UUID: 3233b60e-c6b6-42ca-8620-60be823e5591

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Date deposited: 01 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 21 Feb 2018 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Matthew Flinders
Author: Leanne Marie Cotter
Author: Alix Kelso
Author: Alex Meakin

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