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Strategic Behaviour in Parliament


Bütikofer, Sarah; Hug, Simon (2015). Strategic Behaviour in Parliament. Journal of Legislative Studies, 21(3):295-322.

Abstract

Most research on roll call votes considers each voting decision by members of parliament (MPs) as an independent observation. Only recently have scholars (for example, Clinton, 2012, American Journal of Political Science, 56, 355–372; Clinton & Meirowitz, 2004, American Journal of Political Science, 48, 675–689) started to assess how knowledge about the sequence of votes may help us to understand the legislative process in more detail. Many of these analyses are, however, predicated on quite important assumptions regarding the forward-looking capacities of MPs. In this paper, this more recent literature is drawn on and brought to bear on an analysis of two bills adopted in the Swiss parliament. Having detailed information available on MPs’ preferences over various options voted upon, it is possible to test whether MPs behave strategically, and to what degree they are capable of anticipating the way forward through the agenda tree. Evidence is found that MPs behave strategically, but their foresight is not as perfect as one would expect from theoretical models.

Abstract

Most research on roll call votes considers each voting decision by members of parliament (MPs) as an independent observation. Only recently have scholars (for example, Clinton, 2012, American Journal of Political Science, 56, 355–372; Clinton & Meirowitz, 2004, American Journal of Political Science, 48, 675–689) started to assess how knowledge about the sequence of votes may help us to understand the legislative process in more detail. Many of these analyses are, however, predicated on quite important assumptions regarding the forward-looking capacities of MPs. In this paper, this more recent literature is drawn on and brought to bear on an analysis of two bills adopted in the Swiss parliament. Having detailed information available on MPs’ preferences over various options voted upon, it is possible to test whether MPs behave strategically, and to what degree they are capable of anticipating the way forward through the agenda tree. Evidence is found that MPs behave strategically, but their foresight is not as perfect as one would expect from theoretical models.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Strategic Behaviour in the Swiss Parliament
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:parliament, voting, agenda, strategy, Swiss politics
Language:English
Date:September 2015
Deposited On:06 Aug 2015 08:32
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 13:39
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1357-2334
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13572334.2014.997988
Official URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13572334.2014.997988
Related URLs:http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/fjls20/21/3#.VbYpNmPBfjU

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