In what ways do practices, relationships and interpretations of scrutiny affect accountability relationships in legislatures? This article examines this question through a detailed study of select committees in the UK House of Commons. Drawing on a number of qualitative methods, this article argues that we can understand accountability in the House of Commons more effectively if we examine the underlying beliefs and practices about scrutiny by MPs and parliamentary officials. This article makes an important contribution in helping scholars to better understand how committees behave and from where they derive their authority. These affect the priorities of committee-based accountability, the style and focus of committee hearings, and the ability of committees to build consensus, with wider implications for the study of accountability.
- House of Commons
- interpretive political science
- UK Parliament
- select committees