‘Going institutional’ to overcome obstruction: Explaining the suppression of minority rights in Western European parliaments, 1945−2010

Faculty/Professorship: Empirical Political Science  
Author(s): Sieberer, Ulrich  ; Dutkowski, Julia F.; Meißner, Peter; Müller, Wolfgang C.
Title of the Journal: European Journal of Political Research
ISSN: 0304-4130
Publisher Information: Oxford : Blackwell Publ.
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 59
Issue: 4
Pages: 886-909
Year of first publication: 2019
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12376
When and why do parliamentary majorities in Europe suppress parliamentary minority rights? This article argues that such reforms are driven by substantive policy conflict in interaction with existing minority rights. Government parties curb minority rights if they fear minority obstruction due to increased policy conflict and a minority-friendly institutional status quo. Empirical support is found for this claim using comparative data on all reforms in 13 Western European parliaments since 1945. A curbing of minority rights is significantly more likely under conditions of heightened policy conflict and these effects are stronger the more the institutional status quo favours opposition parties. Contrary to frequent claims of consensual rule changes from single-country studies in Europe, these findings demonstrate the importance of competitive strategies in explaining institutional reform in European parliaments. The conditional impact of the status quo provides interesting theoretical links to historical institutionalist arguments on path dependence.
GND Keywords: Westeuropa ; Parlament ; Mehrheit ; Reform ; Minderheitsrecht ; Geschichte 1945-2009
Keywords: institutional reform; parliamentary minority rights; obstruction; political competition; Western Europe
DDC Classification: 320 Political Science  
RVK Classification: MG 11550   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/47392
Release Date: 27. February 2020