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The conditions of committee importance – drawing lessons from a qualitative case study of Finland

Aula, Ville and Raunio, Tapio (2022) The conditions of committee importance – drawing lessons from a qualitative case study of Finland. Journal of Legislative Studies. ISSN 1357-2334

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13572334.2022.2153995


Theories of parliamentary committees are often contradictory and recent studies have emphasised the need for theoretically-informed qualitative analyses of committee practices. In this paper we draw from 81 interviews with Finnish politicians, party employees, and parliamentary officials to analyse seven theoretical propositions. We show that contradictory theories to hold true under different conditions, allowing individual theories to both underestimate and overestimate committee importance if the interactions between factors are not considered. Based on the findings, we argue that theories have so far overlooked variation in the level of partisanship associated with individual bills. We identify factors that influence levels of partisanship and techniques to actively manage it. Finnish committees are controlled by political parties and the government coalition, but our analysis reveals that MPs have more freedom of maneuver than previously assumed. Overall, bargaining takes places during the committee stage but not so much within formal committee meetings.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s).
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2022 12:30
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 21:51

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