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Actors, Motivations and Outcomes in the Legislative Process: Policy Influence at Westminster

Russell, M; Gover, D; Wollter, K; Benton, M; (2017) Actors, Motivations and Outcomes in the Legislative Process: Policy Influence at Westminster. Government and Opposition , 52 (1) pp. 1-27. 10.1017/gov.2015.25. Green open access

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Abstract

Legislatures in parliamentary systems are frequently seen as weak policy actors, and this is nowhere more true than of the British Westminster parliament. But real-world changes, and recent research, suggest that Westminster’s influence is significant and growing. This raises new questions about which non-government actors are influential, which we explore through analysing 4361 amendments proposed to 12 government bills. But assessing non-government amendment ‘success’ presents challenges, since many such proposals are clearly not sincere attempts at legislative change. We thus make two substantive contributions. First, we quantitatively assess the influence of different groups at Westminster, showing both non-government influence and cross-party working to be more extensive than traditionally assumed. Second, we link predictions about opposition and backbench parliamentarians’ motivations to the legislative amendment process, proposing a typology of motivations for such amendments, with wider application. Overall, we argue that understanding non-government parliamentarians’ diverse motivations shows that they ‘fail’ far less than commonly assumed.

Type: Article
Title: Actors, Motivations and Outcomes in the Legislative Process: Policy Influence at Westminster
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/gov.2015.25
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/gov.2015.25
Language: English
Additional information: This article has been published in a revised form in Government and Opposition: https://doi.org/10.1017/gov.2015.25. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. Copyright © The Author(s). Published by Government and Opposition Limited and Cambridge University Press 2015.
Keywords: Westminster, parliament, legislation, policy impact, opposition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1466473
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