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Inter-parliamentary relations in the United Kingdom: devolution’s undiscovered country?

Evans, Adam 2019. Inter-parliamentary relations in the United Kingdom: devolution’s undiscovered country? Parliaments, Estates and Representation 39 (1) , pp. 98-112. 10.1080/02606755.2018.1487648

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Since 1997, the United Kingdom’s territorial constitution has undergone an immense process of change and has resulted in the establishment of separate legislatures and governments for the peoples of Scotland, Wales and, when Stormont is operational, Northern Ireland. These changes have spawned a whole series of relationships between the institutions of the devolved UK, at executive, legislature and civil service levels. However, while intergovernmental relations has been the subject of repeated debate, there has been little attempt to document and examine the way in which the UK’s four legislatures interact with one another, post-devolution. To the extent that these interactions, otherwise known as inter-parliamentary relations (IPR), have been the subject of scrutiny, it has been largely to bemoan their modest state and/or to suggest that stronger, albeit occasionally rather unelaborated, mechanisms be established. This article seeks to correct this deficit and provide a first step towards a clearer understanding of IPR in the UK, post-devolution. The article breaks the different levels of IPR down into three main strands: (1) parliament-parliament, (2) committee-committee and (3) official-official, and suggests that the main interactions that take place at each of these levels. Following this audit, the article concludes by highlighting the role that shared policy competence (a field that is set to grow with the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union) has played in driving IPR in the UK, post-devolution, and suggests some steps that may be taken to enhance IPR in the future.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 0260-6755
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 January 2020
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 19:18

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