Explaining change in legislatures: Dilemmas of managerial reform in the UK House of Commons

Alexandra Meakin, Marc Geddes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

How do institutions adapt and reform themselves in response to new challenges? This article considers the role of ideas and posits that the concept of ‘dilemma’ — clashes of beliefs played out through power relations and practices — offers a complementary tool to understand institutional change. It draws on the 2014 appointment of a new Clerk to the UK House of Commons — in which conflicting beliefs about the House of Commons administration opened a dilemma for key parliamentary actors — as a token case study to highlight the value of the concepts of beliefs, practices and dilemmas. It further broadens out these findings to consider the value of a wider interpretive approach for understanding how institutions may adapt and change. In doing so, it makes (i) a theoretical contribution by exploring the role of ideas in causing institutional change and (ii) an empirical contribution through its analysis of parliamentary administration, an under-studied area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies
Early online date23 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Sept 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • interpretive parliamentary studies
  • parliamentary reform
  • managerial reform
  • dilemmas
  • parliament
  • British politics


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