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Lunch Research Seminar: The Selection Criteria of Committee Members in the Tweede Kamer, the Bundestag, and Dáil Éirann

Tuesday 8 March 2016
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

Lunch Research SeminarMeeting of a Bundestag committee

Specialized committees play a vital role in the policy-making process of modern parliaments, but, outside of the well-researched U.S. Congress, we know surprisingly little about the way legislators organize their work within them.

In my talk, I will present the results of an analysis of the assignment criteria of standing committee members in the Dutch Tweede Kamer, the German Bundestag and the Irish Dáil Éirann. The theoretical framework builds heavily on congressional theories of legislative organization but adapts their arguments to deal with the new institutional setting which includes strong parliamentary party groups. The statistical analysis shows that MPs often join the same committees that they have been members of in prior legislative periods. With regard to the more personal characteristics of legislators (prior occupation/education, affiliation to interest groups or parliamentary experience) differences across countries are visible. Interviews with legislators further strengthen the results and indicate important factors such as the strong influence of regional factions in the assignment process.

Tim Alexander Mickler is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Political Science since September 2012. Before his appointment he obtained a Diploma in Social Sciences from the Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) and a MSc in Social Research from the Free University Amsterdam. His research interests include inner-party structures and parliaments (in particular legislative organisation and decision-making procedures) from a comparative perspective. His PhD research deals with the selection criteria and reporting requirements of standing committee members in the Dutch Tweede Kamer, the German Bundestag and the Irish Dáil Éirann.

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